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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

versión On-line ISSN 2219-0635
versión impresa ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.76 no.1 Pretoria  2009




Sir Arnold Theiler and the discovery of anaplasmosis: A centennial perspective



G.H. Palmer

Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology and School for Global Animal Health Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA 99164-7040




Sir Arnold Theiler's research in 1908/09 led to the discovery of the first rickettsial pathogen, Anaplasma marginale, and set the stage for his development and implementation of an effective live vaccine based on a less virulent strain, A. marginale ss. centrale. His 1910 report, describing A. marginale, is among the classic monographs in infectious disease research, presenting not only observations in exacting detail but also highlighting the deductive reasoning leading to association of a new pathogen with a specific disease. With a centennial perspective and both conceptual frameworks and molecular tools unimaginable in Theiler's time, the significance of several observations in the original report- cyclic bacteremia, strain superinfection, and taxonomic position-is now clear and highlight the broad applicability of key principles of pathogen biology.



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