24 March 1882

Robert Koch announces the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis.

Robert Koch (1843–1910) was a pioneering German physician and microbiologist who made significant contributions to the fields of bacteriology and epidemiology. He is often hailed as one of the founders of modern bacteriology and is best known for his groundbreaking work on the etiology (causes) of infectious diseases.

Discovery of the Anthrax Bacterium: In 1876, Koch discovered the causative agent of anthrax, a deadly disease affecting livestock and sometimes humans. He identified the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and demonstrated its ability to cause disease when introduced into animals.

Koch’s Postulates: Koch formulated a set of criteria known as Koch’s postulates, which are used to establish the causative relationship between a microorganism and a disease. These postulates laid the foundation for the field of medical microbiology and helped researchers identify the agents responsible for many infectious diseases.

Isolation of Tuberculosis Bacterium: In 1882, Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis (TB). This discovery was a major breakthrough in understanding and combating one of the most devastating infectious diseases in human history.

Cholera and Other Contributions: Koch also made significant contributions to the study of cholera, malaria, and other infectious diseases. His work helped advance our understanding of how these diseases are transmitted and provided insights into preventive measures.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: In 1905, Robert Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries related to tuberculosis. His work revolutionized the understanding and treatment of infectious diseases, saving countless lives and laying the groundwork for modern microbiology and epidemiology.

Legacy: Koch’s contributions to medical science continue to be celebrated today. His methods for isolating and studying disease-causing microorganisms remain fundamental to microbiology. Additionally, his emphasis on rigorous experimentation and evidence-based medicine set high standards for scientific research in the field of infectious diseases.