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Robert Koch (1843-1910)

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Robert Koch (1843-1910)
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Being the country doctor in Wolsztyn, Koch has shown in 1876 for the first time, that the particular bacterium (Bacillus antracis) is the cause of the particular disease (antrax). In his first monography (1878), Koch summarized his experiments on the etiology of wound infection. From Wolsztyn, Robert Koch was assigned to the Imperial Health Authority (Kaiserliches Gesundheitsamt) in Berlin in 1880. In 1882 he discovered the tubercle bacillus - Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In his next work he determined guidelines to prove that a disease is caused by a specific organism. The four basic criteria there enlisted are called today as Koch's-Henle postulates. As a member of German government commission, in 1883 Koch identified both the bacterium and its transmission into cholera disease. In 1885 he was appointed professor of hygiene and bacteriology at the University of Berlin and in 1891 became director of the new Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases (renamed as the Robert Koch Institute). He traveled to South Africa, India, Egypt, Japan and other countries. He was also involved with a great variety of investigations into bacterial diseases of humans and animals - studies of leprosy, sleeping sickness, bubonic plague, livestock diseases, malaria, rinderpest and others. In 1905 Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine "For his investigation and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis". Robert Koch died in Baden-Baden on May 27, 1910. This article presents a short biography of Robert Heinrich Hermann Koch, one of the founders of bacteriology. Koch was born on 11 December 1843 in Clausthal, Germany. In 1866 he obtained a medical degree from the University of Gottingen, after natural science and then medicine studies. He had excellent teachers: Friedrich Henle, Wilhelm Kause, Friedrich Wöhler and Georg Meissner.
Physical description
  • Bäumler E., 1995. Wielkie leki. Twórcy, odkrycia nadzieje. Iskry, Warszawa.
  • Bednarski Z., Bednarska H., 2003. Pierwsza praca naukowa Roberta Kocha nad ustaleniem etiologii wąglika. Współpraca z polskim aptekarzem Josefem Knechtelem. Archiwum Historii i Filozofii Medycyny 66, 161-168
  • Brock T. D., 1988. Robert Koch a life in medicine and bacteriology. Madison, Wis.: Science Tech Publisher; Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Cohn F., 1875. Untersuchungen über Bakterien. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 1, 127-222.
  • Ehrlich P., 1882. Über die Färbung der Tuberkelbazillen. Dt. med. Wochenschr. 8, 269-270.
  • Gradmann C., 2006. Robert Koch and the white death: from tuberculosis to tuberculin. Microbes Infect. 8, 294-301.
  • Henle J., 1840. Von den Miasmen und Kontagien und von den miasmatisch-kontagiosen Krankheiten. Berlin: Sudhoff.
  • Hesse W., 1992. Walther and Angelina Hesse - Early Contributors to Bacteriology. ASM News 58, 425-428.
  • Heymann B., 1932. Robert Koch, I. Teil 1843-1882 [W:] Grosse Männer/Studien zur Biologie des Genies Bd. 12. Ostwald W. (red.). Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.; Leipzig, p. 114
  • Johnson S., 2006. The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World. Riverhead Books.
  • Kaufmann S. H. E., 2000. Robert Koch's highs and lows in the search for a remedy for tuberculosis. Nature Medicine Special Web Focus: Tuberculosis.
  • Koch R., 1865 a. Ueber das Vorkommen von Ganglienzellen an den Nerven des Uterus. Druck der Dieterichschen Univ.-Buchdruckerei (Gottingen).
  • Koch R., 1865 b. Ueber das Entstehen der Bernsteinsäure im menschlichen Organismus appeared. Zeitschrift für rationelle Medizin.
  • Koch R., 1876. Die Aetiologie der Milzbrandkrankheit, begrundet auf der Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus anthracis. Untersuchungen über Bakterien V. Beitr. z. Biol. d. Pflanzen 2, 277-310.
  • Koch R., 1877 a. Verfahrungen zur Untersuchung, zum Conserviren und Photographiren der Bacterien. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 2, 300-434.
  • Koch R., 1877 b. Verfahren zur Untersuchung, zum Conservieren und Photographieren der Bakterien. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 2, 399-434.
  • Koch R., 1878. Untersuchungen über die Aetiologie der Wundinfectionskrankheiten. Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel.
  • Koch R., 1881. Zur Untersuchungen von Pathologen Organismen. Mittheilungen aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte 1, 1-48.
  • Koch R., 1882. Die Aetiologie der Tuberculose. (Nach einem in der physiologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin am 24. März cr. gehaltenem Vortrage). Berliner klin. Wochenschr. 19, 221-230.
  • Koch R., 1884. Die Aetiologie der Tuberkulose. Mittheilungen aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte 2, 1-88.
  • Koch R., 1891a. Ueber bakteriologische Forschung. [W:] Verhandlungen des X Internationalen Medicinischen Congresses Berlin 1891. Verlag von August Hirschwald. Berlin 1, 35-47.
  • Koch R., 1891b. Fortsetzung der Mittheilungen über ein Heilmittel gegen Tuberculose. Dt. med. Wochenschr. 17, 101-102.
  • Koch R., 1891c. Weitere Mittheilungen über das Tuberkulin. Dt. med. Wochenschr. 17, 1189-1192.
  • Köhler W., 2005. Killed in action: Microbiologists and clinicians as victims of their occupation. Part 3: Cholera, Plague, Typhoid fever. Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 295, 513-518.
  • Kruif de P., 1956. Łowcy mikrobów. Państwowy Zakład Wydawnictw Lekarskich, Warszawa.
  • Lagerkvist U., 2003. Pioneers of microbiology and the Nobel prize. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
  • MOI - Museum optischer instrumente.
  • Nomenclature - Judicial Commission of the International Committee on Bacteriological Nomenclature Opinion 31, 1965. Conservation of Vibrio Pacini 1854 as a Bacterial Generic Name, Conservation of Vibrio Cholerae Pacini 1854 as the Nomenclatural Type Species of the Bacterial Genus Vibrio, and Designation of Neotype Strain of Vibrio Cholerae Pacini. Int Bull Bacteriol Nomencl Taxon 15, 185-186.
  • Petri R. J., 1887. Eine kleine Modification des Koch'schen Plattenverfahrens. Centralblatt für Bacteriologie und Parasitenkunde 1, 279-280.
  • RKI, Robert Koch Institute.
  • Schroeter J., 1872. Ueber einige durch Bacterien gebildete Pigmente. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 2, 109-126.
  • Villemin J. A., 1868. Etudes sur la tuberculose. Paris: J.-B. Ballières et Fils.
  • Weissmann G., 2006. Science in the Middle East: 'Yes, You Have Found It'. FASEB J. 20, 1943-1945.
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