Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

27/9/2004

Special feature: Bacterial Diseases in History

Bacteria existed long before humans evolved, and bacterial diseases probably co-evolved with each species. Many bacterial diseases that we see today have been around for as long as we have, others may have developed later. In either case, for the longest time we were not aware of the cause of infectious diseases. With the beginning of microbiology, bacterial pathogens became apparent.

Some of the highlights in the history of microbiology are listed here (Source: St. Louis Community College); a similar site on Ancient microbiological history is provided by Washington State Uni. An overview of the microbiological discoveries over the last 25 years identified a number of bacterial causes to well-known and lesser known diseases (Source:MicroTextBook). Known and newly-discovered bacteria can be blamed for new and old diseases; and Alzheimer may be the next on the list (Source: BBC News).

Infectious diseases emerged and disappeared over time. Some stayed with us, others disappeared to make a come-back, others were made extinct by human influence. The names may have changed, the diseases stayed the same (Source: D.E. Wright). See this display about emerging infectious disease in ancient and modern times (Source: College of Physicians Philadelphia).

For more information go to the link on the rhs

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