Hippocrates to Harrison : Infection and immunity introduction


HIPPOCRATES TO HARRISON


Introduction
Classical Works
Anaesthesia
Surgery
Anatomy
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Internal Medicine
Pathology
Infection and Immunity
Neurology and Psychiatry
Public Health
Tropical Medicine
Therapeutics
Evolution and Genetics
Physiology
Authors A to Z
Who was Harrison?
Contacts











Infection and Immunity

150th Anniversary logo

The Black Death which decimated Europe at the end of the Middle Ages challenged the ancient concepts of epidemics based on miasmas or astrological phenomena. The germ theory of disease, first enunciated by Fracastorius, had to await the technical development of the microscope and the recognition of specific features of individual infectious diseases before it became established.

The idea that specific immunity followed recovery from a disease was brought to Europe from Arabic sources by Lady Wortley Montague, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne and wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople. The production of antibodies and nature of immune cells was not understood until the twentieth century.