Theobald Smith life and biography

Theobald Smith picture, image, poster

Theobald Smith biography

Date of birth : 1859-07-31
Date of death : 1934-12-10
Birthplace : New York City,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-16
Credited as : scientist, pioneering epidemiologist and pathologist, discovered Babesia bigemina

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Theobald Smith was a pioneering epidemiologist and pathologist and is widely-considered to be America's first internationally-significant medical research scientist.

Smith showed that bacteria killed by heat could still confer immunity, and mixed diphtheria toxin with antitoxin to immunize animals against diphtheria, leading to a diphtheria immunization for children.

He discovered Babesia bigemina, the tick-borne parasite that causes Texas cattle fever, which was the first proof that disease could be carried by insects, a finding which opened new avenues of research leading to breakthroughs against malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, typhus fever, yellow fever, and dozens of other diseases.

Among his other significant work, he established that human and bovine tuberculosis are two different diseases, improved laboratory production of vaccines, and discovered anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction) and serum sickness (a reaction to animal antiserums).

Other discoveries:
-Observed differences between human and bovine tuberculosis (1895).
-Discussed the possibility of mosquitos as a malaria transmission vector (1899).
-Variation and bacterial pathogenesis (1900).
-Discovered anaphylaxis (1903).
-Brucellosis infections
-Smith used toxin/antitoxin as a vaccine for diphtheria (1909).
-In the process of investigating an epidemic of infectious abortions of cattle in 1919, Smith described the bacteria responsible for fetal membrane disease in cows now known as Campylobacter fetus.

Author of books:
-Special Report on the Cause and Prevention of Swine Plague (1891)
-Investigations into the Nature, Causation, and Prevention of Texas or Southern Cattle Fever (1893)
-Investigations concerning Infectious Diseases among Poultry (1895)
-Studies in Vaccinal Immunity towards Disease of the Bovine Placenta due to Bacillus -Abortus (Infectious Abortion) (1923, with Ralph B. Little)
-Parasitism and Disease (1934)

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