NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) supervising his assistant during the inoculation of the first vaccine against rabies. Pasteur began his studies on rabies in 1880 infecting dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits with rabid saliva. He discovered that a vaccine could be obtained from the spinal cord of a rabid rabbit once kept in dry air for a few days. He was fearful of human trials but in 1885 he inoculated the vaccine into a nine year old boy who had been bitten several times by a rabid dog. The boy survived and in 1886 out of 2671 patients treated only 25 died.
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