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Hist Sci Med. 2010 Jan-Mar;44(1):55-64.

[Henry Toussaint and Louis Pasteur. Rivalry over a vaccine].

[Article in French]


Henry Toussaint (1847-1890) is a veterinary who studied in Veterinary School of Lyon with his great master Auguste Chauveau the famous physiologist. This place is the First School founded in Europe at the end of the XVIIIth century and has opened a way of thinking. His carrer brilliant and rich begins first in Lyon and then when he is named Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the Veterinary School of Toulouse. Doctor of Science and Doctor of Medecine Toussaint applies "the experimental method" to his research in his laboratory and makes a lot of publications. He starts with Anatomy, then Physiology and soon he prioritizes his research to infestious diseases which cause serious damage to cattle in this time. He developes his own methods about anthrax an its "bacteridie", its nature, its way of culture and especially he studies the physiopathology of this disease. Pasteur is a renowned scientist who does study Microbiology at the same time in his laboratory in Paris, and precisely anthrax. He has explained his theories about "microbes" and has predominant advice. Toussaint admires Pasteur; in the year 1879 he finds first and isolates the microbe of "cholera des poules" (now Pasteurella) and gives Pasteur this new germ which will be used by Pasteur for his particular works about reducing of virulence by successive subcultures. In 1880 with his publishing on July 12 at the Academy of Science, Toussaint presents his successful result with an attenuated vaccine against anthrax: he has got protection against anthrax for dogs and sheep by using a vaccine which he has reduced off virulence by chemical manner. Academy congratulates him. Pasteur jealous of one's reputation contests the demonstration of Toussaint because he does not believe in the chemical method too different from his tests but will make use of this method for an experience open to the public in Pouilly-le-Fort in 1881. After this promotional event Pasteur will product and sell vaccines maked in his laboratory in Paris with the first chemical method of Toussaint. Pasteur gets glory and money. In the following time Toussaint tries another research on tuberculosis but soon he feels the first attacks of a neurologic illness and inescapably his mind declines until the death in 1890.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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