Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria

On October 9, 1676, Dutch scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) made a groundbreaking discovery. He has been making primitive microscopes for many years, and now he is the first to see with his own eyes a large number of “little animals” called bacteria.

Van Leeuwenhoek described his observations in a series of letters to the British Academy of Sciences, Royal Society, making him the leading authority on the subject. This is how Antonie van Leeuwenhoek became the “father of microbiology”.

Video: Watch more about Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s discovery

Roman warns of “little creatures”

Although Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to notice and describe bacteria in practice, he was by no means the first to recognize the existence of microscopic organisms.

Already in ancient times, intelligent minds came to the conclusion that microorganisms must exist. One of them was the Roman scientist Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BC). He warned the Romans not to live in swamps

“Because small creatures thrive here that cannot be seen with the eye, but rather fly in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases.”

Bacteria were studied in the nineteenth century

Our modern understanding of bacteria did not emerge until the nineteenth century, when many researchers began studying microscopic organisms.

Among the pioneers were Louis Pasteur of France and Robert Koch of Germany, whose work showed, among other things, that microorganisms can lead to infectious diseases. These ideas led to the development of vaccines against dreaded diseases such as rabies, anthrax, and tuberculosis.

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