An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15969 entries, 13962 authors and 1940 subjects. Updated: June 12, 2024

KOCH, Robert Heinrich Hermann

14 entries
  • 5167

Die Aetiologie der Milzbrand-Krankheit, begründet auf die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus anthracis.

Beitr. Biol Pflanzen, 2, 277-310, 1876.

In 1876 Koch first obtained pure cultures of B. anthracis and described its complete life history. With Davaine (Nos. 5165-66) he did much to prove that infectious diseases are caused by living reproductive microorganisms. The paper also marks the beginning of exact knowledge of bacterial infectious diseases. It is reproduced with translation in Med. Classics, 1938, 2, 745-820. See also Nos. 2331 and 2536.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Positive Bacteria › Bacillus › Bacillus anthracis, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Anthrax, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › GENERAL PRINCIPLES of Infection by Microorganisms, VETERINARY MEDICINE
  • 2488

Verfahrungen zur Untersuchung, zum Conserviren und Photographiren der Bacterien.

Beitr. Biol. Pflanzen, 2, 399-434, 1877.

Koch greatly improved staining methods; he laid the foundations of the technical procedures employed in bacteriology today. In the above paper he described his method of slide preparation, making films of bacteria on cover-slips and fixing them gently by heat, his methods of staining, and preserving the specimens. He also gave details of his method of photographing bacteria, and reproduced the first photomicrographs of bacteria. In some of his reproductions of photomicrographs the cilia are clearly perceptible.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › Bacteriology, Laboratory techniques in, IMAGING › Photography / Photomicrography , MICROBIOLOGY
  • 2536

Untersuchungen über die Aetiologie der Wundinfectionskrankheiten.

Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel, 1878.

Koch’s epochal work on the etiology of traumatic infectious disease established his reputation. He inoculated animals with material from various sources and produced six types of infection, each due to microorganisms. He carried these infections through several generations of animals. These experiments determined the role of bacteria in the etiology of wound infections and demonstrated for the first time the specificity of infection. This work also contains the first explicit statement of the criteria implicit in Henle (See No. 2533) on contagion, which later became known as Koch’s postulates. See also Nos. 2331 and 5167. English translation, New Sydenham Society, 1880.



Subjects: IMMUNOLOGY › Immunization, INFECTIOUS DISEASE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › GENERAL PRINCIPLES of Infection by Microorganisms, SURGERY: General › Wound Healing
  • 2495.1

Zur Untersuchungen von pathogenen Organismen.

Mittheil. Kais. Gesundheitsamte, 1, 1-48, 1881.

Koch’s description of his methods of growing bacterial cultures in gelatine solutions, making films of bacteria on cover slips and fixing them by gentle heat, and staining slides differentially by aniline. These methods are the bases on which bacteriology largely rests.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › Bacteriology, Laboratory techniques in, MICROBIOLOGY
  • 5636.1

Ueber Desinfection.

Mitt. k. Gesundheitsamte, 1, 234-82., 1881.

Koch showed that mercuric chloride was superior to carbolic acid, and that live steam surpassed hot air in sterilizing power.



Subjects: SURGERY: General › Antisepsis / Asepsis
  • 2331

Die Aetiologie der Tuberkulose.

Berl. klin. Wschr., 19, 221-30, 1882.

Discovery of the tubercle bacillus announced March 24, 1882. This paper also contains a statement of “Koch’s postulates”. See also Nos. 2536 and 5167. Koch published a fuller account as "Die Aetiologie der Tuberkulose," Mitt. k. Gesundh. Amte,  2 (1884) 1-88, in which he reported how he had succeeded in producing experimental tuberculosis in animals after cultivating the bacillus. Historian of bacteriology Thomas Brock stated that the 1884 paper "announced what became known as Koch's postulates." Reprinted with translation in Med. Classics, 1938, 2, 821-80. 
In 1905 Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries and investigations related to tuberculosis."

In 2019 Juan Weiss pointed out that on p. 225 of this work Koch published the first reference to the discovery of Agar, without crediting its discoverer, Walther Hesse, an assistant who worked in Koch's laboratory at the time.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Negative or Gram-Positive Bacteria, BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Positive Bacteria › Mycobacterium › Mycobacterium tuberculosis, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › GENERAL PRINCIPLES of Infection by Microorganisms, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis, MICROBIOLOGY, NOBEL PRIZES › Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • 5923

Bericht über die Thätigkeit der deutschen Cholerakommission in Aegypten und Ostindien.

Wien. med. Wschr., 33, 1548-51, 1883.

Koch–Weeks bacillus, Hemophilus conjunctivitidis, or Hemophilus aegyptius. Koch discovered the bacilli of two varieties of Egyptian conjunctivitis. See also No. 5930.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Negative Bacteria › Haemophilus, COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Egypt, OPHTHALMOLOGY › Diseases of the Eye › Conjunctivitis, TROPICAL Medicine
  • 5108

Sechster Bericht der deutschen wissenschaftlichen Commission zur Ehrforschung der Cholera.

Dtsch. med. Wschr., 10, No. 12, 191-192, 1884.

In this paper, dated 2 February 1884, written while Koch and his team were in Calcutta, Koch first published his discovery of the cholera bacillus and the main route of its transmission. He based his discovery on the unique microscopic morphology of the bacillus and its motility in gelatin, and liquefaction of that gelatin by this novel bacillus. He then reinforced the discovery by including autopsy evidence of deep invasion of the intestinal tissue by this bacillus.

Koch followed this paper with a second paper dated 4 March 1884, also from Calcutta:
Bericht des Leiters der deutschen wissenschaflichen commission zur Erfoschung der cholera. Dtsch. med. Woch10, No. 14, 1884, 221-222.

In this follow-up paper Koch and colleagues proved the transmission of the cholera bacillus through water. They isolated the bacillus with the same bacteriological characteristic described in their 2 February 1884 paper from a specific tank supplying water to some individuals. Koch's team then observed natural transmission specificaly and only to the individuals who drank this water, and subsequent development of characteristic cholera illness in those individuals.

(Thanks to Juan Weiss for these references and their interpretation.)



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Negative Bacteria › Vibrio , INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Cholera
  • 2332
  • 2544.1

Weitere Mittheilungen über ein Heilmittel gegen Tuberkulose.

Dtsch. med. Wschr., 16, 1029-32; 17, 101-102, 1189-92, 1890, 1891.

In 1890, Koch announced the discovery of tuberculin, a substance derived from tubercle bacilli, which he thought was capable of arresting bacterial development in-vitro and in animals. This news gave rise to tremendous hope throughout the world, which was soon replaced by disillusionment when the product turned out to be an ineffective therapeutic agent. In this paper Koch provided his definitive expression of "Koch's Postulates."

The second paper described “Koch’s phenomenon”, and tuberculin skin test. Koch showed that tuberculin injected intradermally would elicit a severe local inflammatory reaction in tuberculous patients. This was the first diagnostic skin test. Abbreviated English translation of second paper in Bibel, Milestones of immunology (1988).



Subjects: IMMUNOLOGY › Immunization, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › GENERAL PRINCIPLES of Infection by Microorganisms, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis, Laboratory Medicine › Diagnostic Skin Tests
  • 2333

Ueber neue Tuberkulinpräparate.

Dtsch. med. Wschr., 23, 209-13, 1897.

Koch’s new tuberculin (Tuberculin R).



Subjects: IMMUNOLOGY › Immunization, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis
  • 2457

Reise-Bericht über Rinderpest, Bubonenpest in Indien und Afrika, Tsetse-oder Surrakrankheit, Texasfieber, tropische Malaria, Schwarzwasserfieber.

Berlin: Julius Springer, 1898.


Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Africa, COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › India, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans), INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Mosquito-Borne Diseases › Malaria, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Tick-Borne Diseases › Texas Cattle Fever, VETERINARY MEDICINE › Epizootics
  • 5040

Die Bekämpfung des Typhus.

Berlin: A. Hirschwald, 1903.

The prophylactic measures for the control of typhus suggested by Koch have been adopted almost everywhere.



Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Lice-Borne Diseases › Typhus, PUBLIC HEALTH
  • 86

Gesammelte Werke von Robert Koch. Unter Mitwirkung von G. Gaffky and E. Pfuhl. Herausgegeben von J. Schwalbe. 2 vols. [in 3).

Leipzig: G. Thieme, 1912.

For his work on tuberculosis Koch received the Nobel Prize in 1905. Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link. See T.D. Brock, Robert Koch: A life in medicine and bacteriology, Madison, WS: Science-Tech Publishers, 1988.



Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Positive Bacteria › Bacillus , BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Positive Bacteria › Bacillus › Bacillus anthracis, BACTERIOLOGY › BACTERIA (mostly pathogenic; sometimes indexed only to genus) › Gram-Positive Bacteria › Mycobacterium › Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Collected Works: Opera Omnia, IMMUNOLOGY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis, MICROBIOLOGY
  • 12384

Laboratory disease: Robert Koch's medical bacteriology.

Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.


Subjects: BACTERIOLOGY › History of Bacteriology, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis › History of Tuberculosis