It was not, however, till October 1886 that anthrax and rabies were officially declared to be contagious diseases for the purposes of certain sections of the act of 1878.
The fatal disease known as anthrax did not form the subject of official returns previous to the passing of the Anthrax Order of 1886.
- Outbreaks of Anthrax in Great Britain, 1895-1905.
When we consider that tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera, tetanus, typhoid fever, anthrax, malaria and a host of other contagious diseases have each been proved to be of parasitical origin, an idea may be conve y ed of the range of the subject.
Some bacteria, such as those of anthrax, are seized upon in the same manner, indeed; very much as small algae and other particles are incorporated and devoured by amoeba.
The second plan was largely adopted in Switzerland and on the Rhine, where measures resembling those taken with cattle suspected of anthrax were applied to all diseased vineyards.
Only a single pathogenic species can withstand the short boiling to which milk is ordinarily treated in domestic management, and this is the anthrax bacillus containing spores.
Thus if a little diphtheritic sputum were coughed into a person's eye, or some blood containing anthrax bacilli were to touch a raw spot upon the hand, the removal of microbes in either case by washing with simple water might be regarded as a means of passive defence, whilst washing them away with an antiseptic lotion might be regarded as active defence, because the antiseptic would tend not only to remove but to destroy the microbes.
Pasteur found that the germs of anthrax could be cultivated outside the body and their virulence weakened either by growing them at too high a temperature or in an unsuitable medium.
Rayer in 1850 and Davaine had observed the bacilli in the blood of animals dead of anthrax (splenic fever), and Pollender discovered them anew in 1855 In 1863, imbued with ideas derived from Pasteur's researches on fermentation, Davaine reinvestigated the matter, and put forth the opinion that the anthrax bacilli caused the splenic fever; this was proved to result from inoculation.
The practical effect of the bactericidal action of solar light is the destruction of enormous quantities of germs in rivers, the atmosphere and other exposed situations, and experiments have shown that it is especially the pathogenic bacteria - anthrax, typhoid, &c. - which thus succumb to lightaction; the discovery that the electric arc is very rich in bactericidal rays led to the hope that it could be used for disinfecting purposes in hospitals, but mechanical difficulties intervene.
By 1876 the anthrax bacillus had been obtained in pure culture by Koch, and some other pathogenic bacteria had been observed in the tissues, but it was in the decade 1880-1890 that the most important discoveries were made in this field.
The fact that in anthrax, one of the first diseases to be fully studied, numerous bacilli are present in the blood of infected animals, gave origin to the idea that the organisms might produce their effect by using up the oxygen g ' P Y g P Yg of the blood.
This, for example, is the case with the anthrax bacillus; although the effect of this organism in the living body indicates the production of toxins which diffuse for a distance around the bacteria.
Anthrax septicaemia in guinea-pigs, pneumococcus septicaemia in rabbits.
Many of the earlier methods of attenuation were devised in the case of the anthrax bacillus, an organism which is, however, somewhat exceptional as regards the relative stability of its virulence.
Observations made on this property with respect to the anthrax bacillus at first gave the hope that it might explain variations in natural immunity.
Thus the serum of the white rat, which is immune to anthrax, kills the bacillus; whereas the serum of the guinea-pig, which is susceptible, has no such effect.
Two years later, an anthrax vaccine; the year after that, a rabies vaccine.