A brief historical outline characterizing how microbiology, immunology, and virology came into being and developed

The sizes that microorganisms have lie outside the bounds of the human ability to see them with the naked eye, so before the microscope was invented humankind did not realize that these kinds of tiny, live creatures existed. However, even without knowing about them, over thousands of years people taught themselves, on a wide scale, how to harness the everyday vital processes of these microbes for their own purposes, and specifically to produce fermented mare’s milk and other cultured dairy products, wine, beer, vinegar, silage fodder, and flax retting. Over many centuries, the exact nature of the processes involved in fermentation have remained vague. Along with that, people have long known about the other side of the coin for microorganisms’ everyday vital processes: their ability to cause wholesale infectious ("catchy") diseases, which have killed many people. The origins and causes of these diseases were also unclear for many millennia. At the same time, it has long been noted that a certain similarity exists between the processes of fermentation and putrefaction, on the one hand, and infectious diseases, which are often accompanied by the formation of fasters, on the other hand. The relationship between the word “putrefaction” and “suppuration” speaks to how long that opinion has existed. This is why the idea arose many centuries ago that resolving the issue of what characterizes fermentation and putrefaction would lead to a better understanding of infectious diseases. The English scientist R. Boyle expresses this idea with particular clarity in the XVII century, who prophetically predicted that the nature of infectious diseases would be unraveled by whoever solves the mystery of fermentation.

Various conjectures have been put forth about the nature of infectious diseases, including that their pathogens are some kind of tiny, living creatures: contagia. The most full-blown version of this idea was formulated in the XVI century by the Girolamo Fracastoro, the eminent Italian scientist, poet, and doctor. In his landmark medical work On Contagion, Contagious Diseases, and Treatment (1546), he articulately outlined the position that infection has a material source ("contagion is corporeal"). n his opinion, infection occurs in three ways: through direct contact, indirectly through objects, and at a distance, but with mandatory participation on the part of tiny, invisible contagia ("the germs of diseases"). Fracastoro was also the first one to use the term “infection” in the medical sense. The idea put forth by Fracastoro was correct and meaningful, but the technical prerequisite to prove that scientifically was not yet available: there were no microscopes.

The discovery of microbes only occurred in the second half of the XVII century, when booming trade caused the demand for improved optical instruments to help navigate the seas (spyglasses, telescopes). The microscope was first designed in 1950 in Holland, by Hans and Zacharias Janssen, but it had a weak magnifying power (just 32 times), and did not allow bacteria to be seen. Discovering the world of microbes is tied to the name Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. Using his microscope, which had a magnifying power up to 300 times, in 1674 he discovered and described human, frog, and fish erythrocytes, in 1675 protozoans, and in 1677 spermatozoa. A. van Leeuwenhoek observed the cells of more than 200 types of plants and animals. He described his observations in various letters (there were about 300 altogether), and sent them to the Royal Society of London. He was elected as a member of the Royal Society in 1680. The first of these letters was sent by his friend, the Dutch scientist R. Graaf, and in 1683 A. van Leeuwenhoek described and sketched the main forms of bacteria in detail. With van Leeuwenhoek’s discovery, microbiology was born, and took shape as a scientific field. This was dubbed the micrographic age, since studying microorganisms was confined to simply describing their various forms that could be studied using microscopes that were far from perfect. Their biological properties, and the value that they held for humans, remained chiefly inexplicable for a long time afterwards. 

The first information gained on microorganisms was quite scant, and that is why Carl Linnaeus, in the XVIII century, lumped them under one genus called Chaos, and categorized them as worms. The work done by the Russian researchers M.M. Terekhovskiy (1740-1796) and D.S. Samoylovich (Suschinskiy) during this period, which stretched through the middle of the XIX century, played a significant role in the development of microbiology. M.M. Terekhovskiy’s great achievement is that he was one of the first to use the experimental method in microbiology: he studied the effect that electric discharges that varied in strength had on microorganisms, as well as temperatures and various chemicals, and studied how they reproduce and breathe. Unfortunately, his works did not gain much fame at that time, and could not have a large-scale impact on how microbiology developed. The works of the eminent Russian doctor, D.S. Samoylovich, received the widest acclaim. He was elected as a member of 12 science academies outside of Russia. D.S. Samoylovich made history in microbiology as one of the first (if not the first) “hunters” of the plague pathogen. The first time he took part in helping combat the plague was in 1771 during an outbreak in Moscow, and then, starting in 1784, he participated in eradicating plague outbreaks in Kherson, Kremenchug (1784), Taman (1796), Odessa (1797 g.), and Feodosiya (1799). Starting in 1793, he became the chief quarantine physician for the southern part of Russia. D.S. Samoylovich was a staunch supporter of the hypothesis that the plague pathogen was a live agent, and more than a hundred years before that microbe was discovered he attempted to identify it. Only the inadequacy of the microscopes at that time prevented him from doing this. He elaborated and applied an entire range of anti-plague measures.

By monitoring the plague, he reached the conclusion that after a person survives the plague a certain immunity remains. One of the main scientific achievements attained by D.S. Samoylovich was the idea of the ability to create an artificial immunity against the plague by using vaccinations. Espousing his ideas, D.S. Samoilovich acted as the herald of the birth of a new science: immunology. At the same time (from the late XVIII to the early XIX centuries), the English physician E. Jenner for the first time successfully actualized one of humankind’s age-old dreams: to curb one of the most terrible human diseases - smallpox - with a vaccination (an artificial cowpox pathogen vaccination).

As the methods used to study the properties of microorganisms expanded, classifying them became possible. In 1786, O. Mueller identified two genera of bacteria - Monas and Vibrio - and categorized them as a group of ciliates.   In 1838, C. Ehrenberg renamed them, putting them into the families Monadna with one genus (Monas) and Vibrionia; for the latter, he distinguished four genera: Bacterium, Spirillum, Vibrio, and Spirochaeta. One of the founders of Russian microbiology, L.S.Tsenkovsky (1822-1887), made a great contribution to the taxonomy of microbes. In his work On Lower Algae and Ciliates (1855), he established the place that bacteria occupies in the system of living things, and highlighted their kinship to plants. L.S.Tsenkovsky described 43 new types of microorganisms, and determined the microbial nature of klek (a slime-like mass that forms on pulverized beets). Subsequently, and independently of Pasteur, he produced an anthrax vaccine, and as a professor at Kharkov University (1872-1887), he facilitated the organization of the Pasteur Station in Kharkov.

In 1857, P. Naegeli classified all bacteria into their own, stand-alone group, dubbed Schizomycetes (fission fungi). L.S.Tsenkovsky's conclusion about the nature of bacteria was supported in 1872 by F. Kon, who drew a distinction between bacteria and protozoa, and categorized them as part of the plant kingdom.

The second period for microbiology - the period of its true birth as an independent biological field science and subsequent rapid development - is associated primarily with the names of L. Pasteur and R. Koch, and their students. Any field of science is born only after the necessary scientific and technological prerequisites arise, and the socioeconomic demand for it matures. That is a general rule of thumb. By the middle of the XIX century, the scientific and technical conditions for a science like microbiology to arise were ripe: high-resolution microscopes had been designed, and many different types of microorganisms were discovered. The time had come to define and prove their important role for humans, and specifically as the culprits that cause various diseases in people, animals and plants, as well as in the processes of fermentation and putrefaction.

At that time, the cellular theory of pathology espoused by R. Virkhov (1821-1902) reigned supreme in the field of medicine, according to which "all diseases ultimately boil down to active or passive damage to a greater or lesser quantity of cells", but that says nothing about the causes that inflict that damage. Along with that, various microorganisms were found in the bodies of sick animals and humans.  The issue that needed to be resolved was whether they were the consequence of a certain disease or what caused it.

By the mid-1850s, it became clear that until the nature of suppurative complications in wounds was clarified, further progress in medicine in general, and surgery in particular, was impossible. In the final analysis, ignorance of the biological foundations that undergird the production of wine and beer led to widescale economic damage. This means that life itself demanded that these problems be addressed.

After graduating from the École normale supérieure in 1847, Louis Pasteur completed two doctoral dissertations: one in chemistry, and the other in physics. The latter was devoted to studying the phenomena that relate to the rotational polarization of liquids. While studying tartaric acid isomers, for the first time he directly came across the activity performed by microorganisms. By adding mold fungus to an optically inactive mixture tartaric acid isomers, L. Pasteur found that, after a while, this mixture begins to rotate the plane of polarization to the left due to the destruction of the right isomer by the fungus. This circumstance prompted him to think about the fact that microorganisms could be participating in the process of fermentation. In actuality, after several years of tense of laborious research, L. Pasteur determined that the processes of fermentation are caused by microorganisms, and that each type of fermentation is caused by a certain type. Subsequently, he also determined that putrefaction (the decay of protein products) is the result of activities performed by microorganisms. This means that the nature of the processes governing fermentation was finally cleared up. It is tough to place too much value on the significance of all of L. Pasteur’s discoveries. Thanks to him, the foundations were laid down for technical (commercial) microbiology, the role played by microbes in the cycle of matter in nature was elucidated, and anaerobic organisms were discovered. Drawing from the works of L. Pasteur, J. Lister (1827-1912) developed the principles of antiseptics, and then L. Pasteur supplemented them with the principles of aseptics, thanks to which further progress in surgery became possible. Proceeding from his research, L. Pasteur was able to establish the nature of the health disorders associated with wine and beer, showing that they are also the result of microorganisms’ vital activity. He also proposed a method to help prevent those, later called pasteurization, and then (after solving the problem of spontaneous generation) methods of sterilization (autoclaving) were developed, which are so crucial in ensuring the principles of aseptics in medicine and developing the canning industry. Elaborating the nature of the processes involved in fermentation and putrefaction once again put the issue of the possibility that life could spontaneously generate on the agenda, but now at the level of microorganisms. L. Pasteur's opponents argued that in substrates that are subjected to fermentation or decay, their pathogens spontaneously arise. Through his irreproachable experiments, L. Pasteur proved that microorganisms penetrate from the surrounding environment, and do not spontaneously arise. With his research, L. Pasteur prepared the scientific community to understand his inviolable position that microorganisms are the main culprits of infectious diseases in both humans and animals. However, that needed to be proven using specific examples. Not being a physician himself, L. Pasteur involved the talented doctor E. Roux (1853-1933) in his work, and started to study pathogenic bacteria. Pasteur segregated a bacillus from the blood of an animal sick with anthrax, obtained a pure culture for it and, by infecting a healthy animal with it, observed the death of the latter from anthrax. He did similar experiments with chicken cholera, and obtained the same results. These flawless experiments indisputably proved the microbial nature of infectious diseases.

In 1876, another researcher that had a tremendous influence on the formation and development of medical microbiology, Robert Koch, also made a name for himself. In his work, R. Koch definitively put an end to the debate that had been raging for many years about the nature of bacteria found in animals with anthrax. The debate revolved around the topic of whether the bacteria discovered were the cause of the disease or perhaps its chance associates. Through precise experiments, R. Koch proved that the microorganism Bacillus anthracis is an anthrax pathogen. "Thanks to the Frenchman Pasteur, the significance of anthrax bacilli was correctly understood, and thanks to the German Koch, their importance as the pathogens for anthrax was proven" (I.I. Mechnikov). Above all else, microbiology is beholden to R. Koch for how he refined bacteriological procedures. He proposed a method for segregating pure cultures from isolated colonies on solid media, methods for staining bacteria with aniline dyes, and made improvements in microscopy techniques: the Abbe condenser and immersion objectives. All of that facilitated the large-scale spread of experimental research on microorganisms, and the development of bacteriological procedures to diagnose infectious diseases. In addition, R. Koch performed a tremendous historical service by discovering the pathogens for some of most consequential human diseases: tuberculosis and cholera.

That is how, thanks to L. Pasteur and R. Koch, the new science of microbiology was born and started to swiftly develop. This was the name given to it by E. Duclaux, Pasteur’s associate; at first, Pasteur simply called it “microby”. n 1878, C. Sedio suggested calling all living things invisible to the naked eye microbes. After the work done by Pasteur, discoveries of infectious disease pathogens took place literally one after the other in succession:

  • 1874 - leprosy bacillus (G. Hansen)

  • 1879 - gonococcus (A. Neisser)

  • 1880 - typhoid fever bacillus (K. Ebert)

  • 1880 - malaria plasmodium (A. Laveran)

  • 1880-1884 - staphylococcus (L. Pasteur, A. Ogston, A. Rosenbach)

  • 1882 - tubercle bacillus (R. Koch)

  • 1883 - vibrio cholerae (R. Kokh)

  • 1884 - diphtheria bacillus (F. Leffler)

  • 1886 - pneumococcus (A. Fraenkel)

From 1874 to 1900, the pathogens for more than 35 diseases in humans and animals were discovered, and those discoveries continue up to the present day.

L. Pasteur, after validating the microbial nature of infectious diseases and discovering an array of pathogens for them, then set his main objective as not searching for more pathogenic bacteria but developing a general principle to combat infectious diseases. And he fulfilled that objective brilliantly. One time, Pasteur discovered a curious fact: pathogens for chicken cholera that had been stored for a long time in a temperature-controlled chamber lost their ability to infect chickens. Pasteur's powers of observation and genius were needed to draw the conclusions, based on this incidental fact, that then determined the main areas of focus for combating infectious diseases. Pasteur proposed that weakened bacteria could play a role similar to Jenner's smallpox vaccine, which affords reliable protection against smallpox. The only thing that remained was to find ways to weaken (attenuate) the infectivity of the bacteria. Pasteur decided to weaken the infectivity of the anthrax bacillus and try to produce a vaccine from it (he had kept using this term since the time of Jenner, and now all drugs used to create artificial active immunity are called vaccines) using a method similar to that used to produce a vaccine from chicken cholera pathogens. He grew the anthrax bacillus not at 37°C, but at a higher temperature (42-43°C), and produced two versions of the vaccine: one that was more attenuated than the other.

On May 5, 1881, a public experiment unprecedented in the history of medicine began at the Puy le Fort farm near Paris: 27 animals (mainly sheep) were given vaccinations with the anthrax vaccine produced by Pasteur. On May 17, they were vaccinated again, but with a less attenuated vaccine, and on May 31, the decisive moment arrived: all the vaccinated animals, and the same number of ones that had not been vaccinated, were infected with a lethal dose of anthrax bacillus. Before this experiment, Pasteur had confidently stated that all the vaccinated animals would be able to withstand the infection, and that the unvaccinated ones would die. And that is what happened. The splendid success with the experiment proved that humankind had produced a reliable weapon in its fight against infectious diseases. And that is how, starting by studying the nature of fermentation, and addressing one challenge after another for society, Pasteur made one of history’s greatest discoveries, and laid the scientific foundations for how to most efficiently combat infectious diseases using artificial immunization. Crowning his scientific activities, after long and persistent experiments L. Pasteur produced a vaccine against rabies. The difficulty in resolving this problem was that the rabies pathogen is a virus that Pasteur was not able to see under a microscope, and which did not multiply on artificial nutrient media. It was only thanks to Pasteur’s ingenuity that the rabies street virus was turned into a rabies vaccine, which is still the only remedy against this terrible disease. The fact that the vaccine is highly efficacious was rapidly substantiated. It began to be called Pasteur's vaccine, and soon in various countries around the world (first of all in Russia in Odessa, I.I. Mechnikov) Pasteur stations began to open, where people who had suffered from attacks by rabid animals were saved with the help of Pasteur's vaccine. The success Pasteur's ideas enjoyed was so tremendous that a special institute (the Pasteur Institute), which became the world’s leading scientific microbiological center, was built and opened for him in Paris on November 14, 1888 with money collected through international subscriptions. On December 22nd, 1892 Pasteur turned 70 years old, and that was celebrated internationally. The hero of the day was was given a special gold medal, and on that the following words were engraved: "To Pasteur on his 70th birthday - science and humanity are grateful." L. Pasteur died on September 22nd, 1895. His body was buried in a tomb at the Pasteur Institute. Above the arch in front of the entrance to the tomb, only three words are engraved: "Ici repose Pasteur" (Pasteur rests here)”. On a memorial plaque mounted on a building at the École Normale Supérieure building, a chronology detailing Pasteur's scientific life has been succinctly recorded:

“This was Pasteur's laboratory.

1857 Fermentation.

1860 Spontaneous generation.

1865 Health disorders associated with wine and beer.

1881 Infections and vaccines.

1885 The prevention of rabies.” 

Not only did Pasteur establish microbiology as a fundamental biological science, but he defined its principal branches, which then spun off as their own scientific disciplines, complete with their own goals and objectives: general microbiology (the study of the fundamental patterns in the biology of microorganisms); technical (commercial) microbiology (the study of the various types of fermentation processes used to produce spirits, acetone, glycerin, and to develop and set up production processes that use microbes to produce antibiotics, vitamins, and other biologically active compounds); agricultural microbiology (the study of soil microflora, its role in the cycle of matter in nature, and the impact it has on soil structure and fertility, as well as plants diseases and the methods to prevent and combat them); veterinary microbiology (the study of the biology of animal infectious disease pathogens, and to develop specific diagnostic methods to prevent and treat them; this is closely tied to medical microbiology, since there are diseases common to both humans and animals, and that can be transmitted from animals to people).

From among all the branches of microbiology, the development of medical microbiology, a science that studies the biology of pathogenic microbes and the peculiarities inherent in how they interact with the human body, was extremely important for humankind. The job for medical microbiology is not only to elucidate the etiology for infectious diseases, but also to develop specific methods to diagnose, prevent, and treat them. As is known, enormous successes have been achieved here, and to a great extent we are beholden to the fact that as microbiology historically developed, new biological sciences started to experience growth, such as immunology, virology, and studies on antibiotics and plasmids.

It has been commonly known for a long time that a person who has recovered from an infectious disease, generally speaking, does not come down with it again. However, the mechanisms that ensure this kind of acquired resistance (immunity) only became known following a study done by I.I. Mechnikov, P. Erlich, and their many students.

The outstanding Russian scientist I.I. Mechnikov was not only one of the founders of microbiology, including the school in Russia, but is rightfully considered, along with P. Ehrlich, to be the founder of immunology. He discovered the phenomenon of phagocytosis, and for the first time in the history of medicine showed that the healing powers of the body are associated with a special group of cells, which he called phagocytes. I. I. Mechnikov's ideas were warmly supported by L. Pasteur, and he invited him with an offer to be in charge of a laboratory at the Pasteur Institute.

I. I. Mechnikov worked there from 1887 until the end of his life. After it was established that various antibodies (antitoxins, bacteriolysins, opsonins, agglutinins) are produced in the body to fight bacteria and their toxins, P. Ehrlich proposed the theory of humoral immunity. Over the course of a long-term and uncommonly fruitful scientific discussion between supporters of Mechnikov's phagocytic theory of immunity and Ehrlich's humoral theory of immunity, many mechanisms of immunity were actually brought to light, and immunology was born. Both theories turned out to be valid - I.I. Mechnikov and P. Ehrlich were awarded the Nobel Prize for their studies on immunity in 1908.

A great contribution to immunology’s development was made by those who studied under I.I. Mechnikov, such as A.M. Bezredka (1870-1940), L.A. Tarasevich (1868-1927), I.G. Savchenko, and V.I. Isayev, as well as scientists like E. Ru, A. Iersen, E. Bering, S. Kitazato, J. Bordet, O. Zhangu, G. Ramon, and many others.

Following numerous subsequent studies, it was discovered that both hereditary and acquired immunity are provided support by the coordinated activity performed by five main systems: macrophages; the complement; T and B lymphocytes; interferons; the major histocompatibility complex. They provide support for various forms of immune response.

On February 12, 1892, at a meeting held by the Russian Academy of Sciences, D.I. Ivanovskiy reported that the pathogen for tobacco mosaic disease was a filterable virus. This date can be considered to be the birthday for virology, with D.I. Ivanovskiy as its founder. It very soon became clear that viruses cause diseases not only in plants, but also in humans, animals, and bacteria. They turned out to be just as ubiquitous as other microorganisms. The development of virology, which has also become a fundamental biological science, was determined by the improvements made in the methods used to study viruses and how they are cultivated. The unusual properties displayed by viruses delayed resolving what characterizes their nature for many years. Only after deciphering the nature of the gene and the genetic code were viruses recognized as living beings, although their properties differ in many respects from all other organisms. L. Pasteur, by creating a vaccine against rabies, came close to discovering viruses, and in any case he predicted their existence. The historical connection between microbiology and virology can be traced back to that. Only 8 years passed between the time that a vaccine against rabies was created and when viruses were discovered by D.I. Ivanovskiy.

The next important stage in the development of microbiology was the discovery of antibiotics. In 1929, A. Fleming discovered penicillin, and a new era began - the era of antibiotic treatment, which was destined to bring about a true revolution in medicine. And studying the nature of drug resistance, which began to spread among bacteria at epidemic proportions, led to another important discovery. It turned out that many bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other chemotherapeutic agents have two genomes - chromosomal and plasmid ones. Studies done on plasmids led to the conclusion that they are organisms that are even simpler than viruses, and, unlike the latter, do not destroy bacteria but endow them with additional important biological properties. The discovery of plasmids, and studying their properties, expanded and deepened the understanding of the forms of existence life can take on, and how it can evolve.

A new stage in the development of microbiology, immunology, and virology began in the second half of the 20th century by virtue of the birth of molecular genetics and molecular biology. In 1944, in experiments on how pneumococci transform, it was first proven that DNA is what constitutes the carrier of genes. Using bacteria, viruses, and then plasmids as the subjects of molecular genetic and molecular biological research led to a deeper understanding of the fundamental processes that undergird life. In the field of immunology, studies at the level of molecular genetics and molecular biology have made it possible to identify the structure of antibodies, to find out how genetic control of their biosynthesis is exercised, what the differentiation mechanisms are for immunocompetent cells, and how they interact under various versions for the immune system’s response. Immunology has come very close to revealing the basic principles and patterns governing self-regulation for the immune system across all of its levels. Vast prospects are opening up for using immunobiological modulators to help treat various forms of immunodeficiency, including cancer. In recent years, the molecular genetic structure of viruses has been decoded, the mechanisms of their interaction with cells and the features of antiviral immunity have been studied, and various kinds of viruses have been discovered and studied, including those belonging to the Retroviridae family (HIV), and in general terms there is an understanding of the mechanisms via which rhinoviruses cause the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells. Terrific successes have been achieved in the study of genetics, including plasmid genetics, and how to control pathogenicity factors and the mechanisms of action of bacterial exotoxins. The principles to obtain and produce new-generation vaccines have been elaborated, including methods involving genetic engineering. The real-world preconditions have been created to help eradicate a slew of infectious diseases in the near future using mass vaccination campaigns. The experience gained successfully eradicating smallpox around the Earth gives hope that via an expanded immunization program, executed under the auspices of the WHO, diseases like poliomyelitis, rubella, measles, and mumps will also be eliminated, and the incidence rates for tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and some other diseases will be greatly decreased.

Here is a list, and one that is far from comprehensive, of the names of outstanding scientists that were awarded Nobel Prizes in various years: Emil Bering (1901), Robert Koch (1905), Charles A. Laveran (1907), Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (1908) .), Paul Ehrlich (1908), Charles Richet (1913), Jules Bordet (1919), Charles Nicole (1928), Gerhard Domagk (1939), Alexander Fleming (1945) , Wendell Stanley (1946), Solomon Waxman (1952), Joshua Lederberg (1959), Frank Burnet (1960), Peter Medawar (1960), James Watson and Francis Crick (1962). ), Renato Dulbecco (1964), André Lvov (1965), Francis Rouse (1966).

Russian scientists deserve a lot of credit for helping to develop microbiology, immunology, and virology. Many other accomplished scientists can be listed right next to the names of I.I. Mechnikov and D.I. Ivanovskiy. S.N. Vinogradskiy is the founder of soil microbiology, and one of the people that organized the Russian Microbiological Society (1903). From 1932 until he passed away, he was in charge of the agrobiological department at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. P.F.Borovsky (1863-1932) and F.A.Lesh (1840-1903) discovered pathogenic protozoa, Leishmania, and dysentery amoeba. I.G. Savchenko established the streptococcal etiology for scarlet fever, was the first to use an antitoxic serum to treat it, proposed a vaccine to help fight it, created the Kazan School of Microbiologists in Russia, and - together with I.I. Mechnikov - studied the mechanism of phagocytosis and the problems involved with the specific prevention of cholera. D.K. Zabolotny (1866-1929) was a major organizer of the fight against the plague, and established and proved its natural focus. He created the first independent department of bacteriology at the Saint Petersburg Women's Medical Institute in 1898. 

Significant contributions to the development of general, technical, and agricultural microbiology were made by academicians V.N. Shaposhnikov (1884-1968), N.D. Jerusalem (1901-1967), B.L. Isachenko (1871-1947), N.A. Krasilnikov (1896-1973), V.L. Omelyanskiy (1867-1928), S.P. Kostychev (1877-1931), E.I. Mishustin (1901-1983), and many of their students. Medical microbiology, virology, and immunology owe a tremendous amount to the research done by well-known Russian scientists like N.F. Gamaleya (1859-1949), P.F. Zdrodovskiy (1890-1976), L.A. Zilber (1894-1966), V.D.Timakov (1904-1977), E.I. Martsinovsky (1874-1934), V.M. Zhdanov (1914-1987), 3.V. Ermolyeva (1898-1979), A.A. Smorodintsev ( 1901-1989), M.P. Chumakov (1909-1990), P.N. Kashkin (1902-1991), B.P. Pervushin (1895-1961), and many others. The work done by Russian microbiologists, immunologists, and virologists has made a substantial contribution to the development of world science, and to the theory and practice of public health.

Teaching microbiology in Russia was started by I.I. Mechnikov and Ya.Yu. Bardakh in 1885 at Novorossiysk University (Odessa). In 1892, G.N. Gabrichevskiy (1860-1907) organized an independent course in bacteriology at Imperial Moscow University, and that formed the cornerstone for subsequently creating the department. 

A.I. Korotyaev