Robert Koch by solomon neuhaus

Robert Koch was born in 1843 in the kingdom of Hanover. He died in 1910 in the grand duchy of Baden. Koch excelled in academics from an early age. Before entering school in 1848, he had taught himself how to read and write he graduated high school in 1862, did well in science and math. He entered the University of Gottingen. He studied medicine, he wanted to be a physician. (World of Microbiology and Immunology)

Later in his life he became a government advisor with the Imperial Department of Health, and his main, important ideas in microbiogoly and etiology were as follows:

1. The organism must always be present, in every case of the disease.

2. The organism must be isolated from a host containing the disease and grown in pure culture.

3. Samples of the organism taken from pure culture must cause the same disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible animal in the laboratory.

4. The organism must be isolated from the inoculated animal and must be identified as the same original organism first isolated from the originally diseased host (Britannica)

These 4 rules helped him find the formation of a generic set of postulates which can be used in the determination of the cause of most infectious diseases. Including Tuberculosis, one of his most important discoveries.

Koch presented his ideas by teaching, he was one of the most effective teachers of his fields of his time. He also wrote papers. One important paper was published in 1877. And another book in 1878, summarizing the experiments in etiology. Which is the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition (Britannica). His pupils, people he taught, were some of the lead creators of the new era of bacteriology. Long before his death, his place in the history of science was universally recognized. Koch’s ideas were viewed as genius when he was alive. People thought his ideas were worth learning, as he had many pupils. It wasn’t until after he was dead, people started putting his ideas to use though. He was experimenting and learning his whole life, not as much worried about using his ideas. After he died, people started treating tuberculous and cholera, another virus he studied.

His ideas were very important in 19th century Europe because he was one of the first scientists to identify, and learn about viruses. He spread awareness of how viruses are spread, created, and live in the human body and animal bodies. Today his ideas are still important because, he got the ball rolling for the study of microbiology and etiology, two very important fields for keeping us healthy.


"Robert Koch." World of Microbiology and Immunology, edited by Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner, Gale, 2006. Biography in Context, Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.

"Robert Koch." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 29 Mar. 2011. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.

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