Ida A. Bengtson

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Ida Bensgton

Ida Albertina Bengtson (1881 – 1952)[1] was an American bacteriologist who in 1916 was the first woman hired to work in the United States Public Health Service's Hygienic Laboratory.[2] and later the National Institutes of Health.

One of Ida’s research interests was typhus, an exceedingly dangerous interest and she, like many other typhus researchers, eventually contracted the disease. She was given a medal by the American Typhus Commission in 1947, but her most significant scientific achievement was identifying an organism called Clostridium botulinum which causes a paralytic disease in chickens.


  1. ^ Lindenmann, Jean (2005). "Women scientists in typhus research during the first half of the twentieth century.". Gesnerus (Basel: Swiss Society for the History of Medicine and Sciences) 62 (3-4): 257–272. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  2. ^ Harden, Victoria A. "WWI and the Ransdell Act of 1930". A Short History of the National Institutes of Health. Office Of History National Institutes Of Health, United States National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 12 September 2011.