Pathogen Quotes (5 quotes)
Bacteria are highly adaptable. They frequently change both morphologically and functionally. Their virulence is also an essentially fluctuating property, that increases or diminishes according to the conditions to which the pathogenic organism is subjected.
I can think of a few microorganisms, possibly the tubercle bacillus, the syphilis spirochete, the malarial parasite, and a few others, that have a selective advantage in their ability to infect human beings, but there is nothing to be gained, in an evolutionary sense, by the capacity to cause illness or death. Pathogenicity may be something of a disadvantage for most microbes…
I must … explain how I was led to concern myself with the pathogenic protozoa. … I was sent to Algeria and put in charge of a department of the hospital at Bone. A large number of my patients had malarial fevers and I was naturally led to study these fevers of which I had only seen rare and benign forms in France.
If we can abstract pathogenicity and hygiene from our notion of dirt, we are left with the old definition of dirt as matter out of place. This is a very suggestive approach. It implies two conditions: a set of ordered relations and a contravention of that order. Dirt then, is never a unique, isolated event.
It is best to attenuate the virulence of our adversaries with the chloroform of courtesy and flattery, much as bacteriologists disarm a pathogen by converting it into a vaccine.