Casimir Davaine

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Casimir Davaine
Casimir Davaine.jpg
Casimir Davaine
Born March 19, 1812
Died 14 October 1882
Nationality French
Fields Microbiology
Known for Bacillus anthracis

Casimir Davaine (March 19, 1812 – 14 October 1882) was a French physician known for his work in the field of microbiology. He was a native of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, department of Nord.

In 1850, Davaine along with French pathologist Pierre François Olive Rayer (1793–1867), discovered a certain microorganism in the blood of diseased and dying sheep.[1] In the diseased blood, Rayer and Davaine observed the bacillus that is known today as Bacillus anthracis, the causative bacterium of anthrax. Soon afterwards, Rayer published an essay on anthrax, thus providing the first comprehensive description of Bacillus anthracis.

In 1863 Davaine demonstrated that the anthrax bacillus could be directly transmitted from one animal to another. He was able to identify the causative organism, but was unaware of its true etiology. Later, German microbiologist Robert Koch researched the etiology of Bacillus anthracis, and discovered its ability to produce "resting spores" that could stay alive in the soil for a long period of time to serve as a future source of infection.[2]

Casimir Davaine is also credited for pioneer work in the study of septicemia (blood poisoning).


  1. ^ Pierre François, Olive Rayer (1850). "Inoculation du sang de rate". Comptes Rendus des Séances et Mémoires de la Société de Biologie 2: 141–144. 
  2. ^ Robert Koch by Thomas D. Brock