Volume 2, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The present century and the last years of the 19th form an epoch that will be marked in the annals of medicine by its immense progress in elucidating the etiology and the mode of transmission of tropical diseases and in deducing therefrom measures to prevent them. Inductive and deductive epidemiology, in searching for sources of infection, recognized rather early in this period the relationship of three genera of mosquitos to the transmission of filariasis, malaria and yellow fever, the rôle of ticks in Texas fever and the tsetse fly in African sleeping sickness. In this era also falls the first experimental proof of insect transmission of a plant disease: in 1891, Waite showed that bees and wasps, while visiting pear blossoms in search of nectar, are active vectors of bacteria causing fire blight of pears.

But at the beginning of this period the concept of infection chains; in fact, the biologic approach to the solution of the living contagia, had not been formulated.


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