Contribution of Robert Koch and Koch’s Postulates

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In this article we will learn about the contribution of Robert Koch in Microbiology and Koch’s Postulates. All this informations are only for students.

Robert Koch

  • The full name of Robert Koch is Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch.
  • Robert Koch  was born in Clausthal, Germany, on 11 December 1843
  • Robert Koch was a German physician and microbiologist.
  • He is the main founder of modern bacteriology.
  • He received  Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905 for his work on tuberculosis.
  • He also discovered new laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology.
  • He is well known for identifies the causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax.
  • He is also well known for his establishment of Koch’s postulates.
  • Robert Koch died at the age of 66 on 27 May 1910.

Contribution of Robert Koch

1. Isolating pure bacterial cultures:

Robert Koch utilized Agar for isolation and cultivation of bacterial pure culture. There were several benefits of this agar medium, such as; it easily solidify in 37-degree centigrade, it was undegradable to the most of bacteria, and produces a transparent medium.

2. Koch’s Postulates:

Robert  Published four postulates, which shows us the importance of pure culture in isolation of disease-causing organisms and described each necessary step to achieve this. His four Postulates were;

  • A specific organism can always be found in Association with a given disease.
  • The organism can be isolated and grown in pure culture in the laboratory.
  • The pure culture will produce the disease when inoculated into a respectable animal.
  • It is possible to recover the organism in pure culture from the experimentally infected animal.

3. Tuberculosis:

In the earliest time, people have believed tuberculosis is an inherited disease. But later Koch experimentally proved that Tuberculosis is an infectious disease and caused by the bacteria  Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In his experiment, the bacteria satisfied all four of his postulates.

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4. Causative Agent of Anthrax:

Robert Koch identifies the causative agent of the fatal disease Anthrax, which is  Bacillus anthracis. He found that the spores of anthrax bacteria are remains in the dormant stage in most of the time. In the presence of optimal conditions, these spores are activated and cause disease.

Fo the isolation of this causative agent he dry-fixed bacterial cultures onto glass slides and then stain the culture with the help of dyes after that he observed the slides through the microscope.

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5. Causative Agent of Cholera:

In 1884, Robert Koch isolate the causative agent of Cholera diseases, called  Vibrio cholerae.

6. Acquired immunity:

Robert Koch observed the phenomenon of acquired immunity when he was examined the Papuan people. He found the Plasmodium parasite in their blood, but their symptoms of malaria were mild or could not even be noticed.

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What is Koch’s postulates?

  • In 1884, Robert Koch and Friedrich Loeffler established these four postulates which are known as Koch’s Postulates.
  • These four postulates established a relationship between the causative agent or microbes and disease.
  • This postulates explain the etiology of cholera and tuberculosis.
  • Viruses (which are obligate cellular parasites) and asymptomatic carriers cannot examined by using Koch’s postulates.

Experiment of Koch’s postulates

Robert Koch conduct an experiment with a healthy mice to establish these four postulates;

Robert Koch and Koch’s Postulates
Robert Koch and Koch’s Postulates
  1. In his experiment, he isolated a pathogen from a disease infected animal.
  2. Then he culture this pathogen in the laboratory.
  3. After that, he injects this pathogen culture into healthy mice.
  4. The mice develop disease and died.
  5. After that, he again isolates the pathogen in his laboratory from this experimental mice.

Koch’s Postulates

There are four postulates such as;

  1. A specific organism can always be found in Association with a given disease.
  2. The organism can be isolated and grown in pure culture in the laboratory.
  3. The pure culture will produce the disease when inoculated into a respectable animal.
  4. It is possible to recover the organism in pure culture from the experimentally infected animal.

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Limitation of Koch’s Postulates

There was several limitations of Koch postulates such as;

  1. The microorganism should be grown and cultured in pure culture.
  2. If the microorganism does not grow in selected media it will fail.
  3. Most time, wild type pathogens require complex nutrients which cannot be supplied within a culture plate. This limitation can cause pathogens of interest to die.
  4. Slow growing pathogens have slim chances of growing on a culture plate against other fast-growing ones. 
  5. Did not consider microevolution in which at that time, the term was not discovered yet.
  6. Selected media might not be compactable with the pathogen in which causes the pathogen to die
  7. A harmless bacteria may cause infection if it acquired extra virulence factors or gains access to deep tissues via trauma or infects an immunocompromised patient.

FAQ on Robert Koch and Koch’s Postulates

What is Robert Koch famous for?

Robert Koch is well known for identifies the causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax. He also discovered new laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology. He is also well known for his establishment of Koch’s postulates.

What was Robert Koch’s contribution to microbiology?

Robert Koch’s contribution to microbiology:identifies the causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax.
He also discovered new laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology.
He is also well known for his establishment of Koch’s postulates.
Develop the techniques for Isolating pure bacterial cultures.
Robert Koch observed the phenomenon of acquired immunity

How did Robert Koch die?

On 9 April 1910, Koch suffered a heart attack and never made a complete recovery.

Did Robert Koch find a cure for tuberculosis?

Koch continued his studies on tuberculosis, hoping to find a cure. In 1890, he 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.Tuberculin later proved to be a valuable diagnostic tool.

What are the 4 Koch’s postulates?

A specific organism can always be found in Association with a given disease.
The organism can be isolated and grown in pure culture in the laboratory.
The pure culture will produce the disease when inoculated into a respectable animal.
It is possible to recover the organism in pure culture from the experimentally infected animal.

Why TB is called Koch’s disease?

Because Robert Koch first identify the causative agent of Tuberculosis (TB).

How did Robert Koch proved the germ theory?

In the final decades of the 19th century, Koch conclusively established that a particular germ could cause a specific disease. He did this by experimentation with anthrax. Using a microscope, Koch examined the blood of cows that had died of anthrax. He observed rod-shaped bacteria and suspected they caused anthrax.

Where did Robert Koch do his work?

Tuberculosis. After moving to the the Imperial Health Office in Berlin, Koch began his work on discovery of the tubercle bacillus.

Who found the cure for TB?

In 1943 Selman Waksman discovered a compound that acted against M. tuberculosis, called streptomycin. 

Who invented anthrax?

Robert Koch, a German physician and scientist, first identified the bacterium that caused the anthrax disease in 1875 in Wolsztyn (now part of Poland). His pioneering work in the late 19th century was one of the first demonstrations that diseases could be caused by microbes.

What are Koch’s postulates and why are they important?

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Can Koch’s postulates be used for viruses?

No

Reference

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch%27s_postulates
  2. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7105
  3. https://www.slideserve.com/bly/introductory-microbiology
  4. https://www.famousscientists.org/robert-koch/
  5. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Koch
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Koch

Writer and Founder of Microbiologynote.com. I am from India and my main purpose is to provide you a strong understanding of Microbiology. Microbiologynote.com shares notes related to different branches of microbiology.

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