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Med Lav. 2011 Nov-Dec;102(6):467-72.

Carlo Moreschi (1876-1921): co-founder of the journal "La Medicina del Lavoro" and often forgotten pioneer of modern medicine.

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Research Centre on Public Health, University ofMilano Bicocca, Monza, Italy.



Carlo Moreschi (1876-1921) was founding co-editor of the journal "Il Lavoro" (now known as "La Medicina del Lavoro"), together with Luigi Devoto in 1901. Despite this fact, many of his pioneering contributions to 20th century scientific debate are not well known outside Italy.


The aim of this paper therefore was to recall Moreschi' achievements and the groundbreaking work of this remarkable Italian physician.


A comprehensive analysis was conducted on scientific papers written by Carlo Moreschi between 1901 and 1920, extending the investigation to his original manuscripts and private correspondence with family and colleagues.


Careful examination of Moreschi's work reveals several studies in the field of social medicine, epidemiology of infectious diseases, general pathology and oncology. In particular, his main interest in haematology and immunology enabled Moreschi to be one of the first to understand the mechanisms of complement fixation and the formation pathways ofantiglobulin sera. In this manner, Moreschi significantly contributed to the work of Wassermann regarding the diagnosis of syphilis, as well as contributing to the discovery of the "antiglobulin test", first described by Coombs in 1945. Furthermore, Moreschi co-founded "Il Lavoro" and "Haematologica", the oldest journals in their respective fields.


According to Devoto, Moreschi can be remembered as the archetype modern researcher and clinician. His role in the 20th century scientific debate and his pioneering work in the field of immunology and haematology, that are often forgotten due to his premature death, deserve to be reconsidered and re-assessed by the Italian and international scientific community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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