Theobald Smith and the Insect Transmission of Disease

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It is most fitting that the address of your Acting President at the first annual meeting of the American Academy of Tropical Medicine should take the form of a memorial to the Academy's first President, the late Doctor Theobald Smith.

Forty-six years ago there appeared a paper by Theobald Smith in the December, 1889, issue of the Medical News of Philadelphia. In this paper the author described an organism present in the red blood corpuscles of cattle suffering from Texas fever, which he had demonstrated to be the cause of the disease. This organism he considered to belong to the Protozoa and named it Pyrosoma bigemina, a name now changed because of nomenclatural rules to Babesia bigemina. Four years later, after exhaustive studies of the etiology and epidemiology of Texas fever, Smith and Kilborne published the results of these researches in Bulletin No. 1, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1893.

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