How Did Louis Pasteur Contribute To The Germ Theory Of Disease

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Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist. He studied microbes and disease including vaccinations and how to kill pathogens. He is most famous for the pasteurization process that quickly kills most of the disease producing pathogens in dairy and wine. His most important work though was probably in the development of vaccines for rabies and anthrax. At the time he was working people still didn't understand where disease came from or how bacteria and viruses multiplied. Many people believed in the theory of spontaneous generation, where microbes sprang from nothing to infect wounds, food, or plants. Pasteur helped prove that disease was the result of microscopic organisms, the germ theory of disease, and that life must spring from life.

Pasteur began working on the problem of bacterial contamination when a local wine merchant approached him asking advice on how to keep his wine from souring. Pasteur's goal was to prove that yeast, which produces lactic acid, caused the souring of both wine and milk. One experiment he did was to prove that no fermentation of grape juice would happen if the grapes and the containers they were kept in remained sterile through the experiment. He inserted
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Geison, Gerald L., The Private Science of Louis Pasteur, Princeton University Press, 1995.
Chapter 5 on spontaneous generation especially.

Schwartz, M. The Life and Works of Louis Pasteur, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Oct 2001.
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