Casimir Davaine

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Casimir Davaine
Casimir Davaine.jpg
Casimir Davaine
Born(1812-03-19)19 March 1812
Died14 October 1882(1882-10-14) (aged 70)
Known forBacillus anthracis
Scientific career

Casimir-Joseph Davaine (19 March 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, discovered a certain microorganism in the blood of diseased and dying sheep.[1][2] 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 a description of the bacillus in a paper titled, Inoculation du sang de rate (1850).[3][4]

In 1863, Davaine demonstrated that the 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.[5][6] Later on, German microbiologist Robert Koch investigated 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.[7]

Casimir Davaine is also credited for pioneer work in the study of sepsis (blood poisoning).[8]


  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. ^ Swiderski, Richard M. (2014). Anthax: A History. McFarland. ISBN 9780786481965.
  3. ^ Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch - bibliography Who Named It
  4. ^ Biography of Pierre-François-Olive Rayer at Who Named It
  5. ^ Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists, Third Edition edited by John Daintith
  6. ^ Bazin, Hervé (2011). Vaccination: a History - From Lady Montagu to Jenner Pasteur and Genetic Engineering (Médecine sciences). John Libbey Eurotext Ltd. p. 174. ISBN 978-2742007752.
  7. ^ Grove, David (2014). Tapeworms, Lice, and Prions: A compendium of unpleasant infections. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199641024.
  8. ^ Klein, Edward (1886). Micro-organisms and Disease: An Introduction Into the Study of Specific Micro-organisms. Macmillan. p. 93.

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