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Eras in EpidemiologyThe Evolution of Ideas$
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Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300666.001.0001

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The Concept of Host and Immunity

The Concept of Host and Immunity

(p.123) 11 The Concept of Host and Immunity
Eras in Epidemiology

Mervyn Susser

Zena Stein

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the historical development of the concept of host and immunity. Smallpox is a disease that, until the 20h century, had long been among the greatest of human plagues. In the last quarter of the 18th century, Edward Jenner set public health on the path to its eventual virtual eradication in the late 20th century. Louis Pasteur, in his second major phase of thought and research, carried forward, consolidated, and generalized the themes of immunity and host resistance to specific organisms. His work was the necessary prelude to the general application of immunization for many diseases in domesticated animals and in human beings.

Keywords:   smallpox, Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, public health

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