Publisher Information: 1884.
Pasteur, Louis (1822-95). Sur la rage. Offprint from Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Sciences 98 (1884). 4pp. 271 x 223 mm. Original plain wrappers, stitching loose, spine splitting but still holding together. Very good.
First Edition, Offprint Issue. Pasteur began investigating the rabies virus in 1881 (see Garrison-Morton 5481.4), and by 1884 had developed experimental methods of rendering dogs resistant to the disease. In the present paper, delivered on May 19, 1884, Pasteur gave a detailed account of his methods, describing how he weakened the rabies virus by passing it successively from an infected dog to a series of monkeys. “After a few such passages through monkeys, he claimed, the rabies virus became so attenuated that its hypodermic injection into dogs never resulted in rabies . . . At some point in its serial passage through monkeys, the rabies virus lost its virulence for dogs and began instead to protect them from the effects of somewhat more virulent strains of the virus, which in their turn acted as vaccines against still more virulent strains until eventually dogs could be rendered immune to even the most lethal virus” (Geison, The Private Science of Louis Pasteur, p. 191). Pasteur first successfully used the rabies vaccine on a human subject the following year; see Garrison-Morton 5483.Book Id: 43051