Albert Calmette

Last updated

Albert Calmette
Albert Calmette 1930.jpg
Albert Calmette in 1930
Born(1863-07-12)12 July 1863
Died29 October 1933(1933-10-29) (aged 70)
Nationality France
Known for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin
antivenin
Scientific career
Fields Bacteriology
Institutions Pasteur Institute

Léon Charles Albert Calmette ForMemRS [1] (12 July 1863 – 29 October 1933) was a French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist, and an important officer of the Pasteur Institute. He discovered the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, an attenuated form of Mycobacterium bovis used in the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. He also developed the first antivenom for snake venom, the Calmette's serum.

Royal Society English learned society for science

The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Bacteriology study of bacteria

Bacteriology is the branch and specialty of biology that studies the morphology, ecology, genetics and biochemistry of bacteria as well as many other aspects related to them. This subdivision of microbiology involves the identification, classification, and characterization of bacterial species. Because of the similarity of thinking and working with microorganisms other than bacteria, such as protozoa, fungi, and viruses, there has been a tendency for the field of bacteriology to extend as microbiology. The terms were formerly often used interchangeably. However, bacteriology can be classified as a distinct science.

Contents

Early career

Calmette was born in Nice, France. He wanted to serve in the Navy and be a physician, so in 1881 he joined the School of Naval Physicians at Brest. He started to serve in 1883 in the Naval Medical Corps in Hong Kong, where he worked with Dr Patrick Manson, who studied the mosquito transmission of the parasitic worm, filaria, the cause of elephantiasis. Calmette completed his medical degree on the subject of filariasis. [2] He was then assigned to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, where he arrived in 1887. Afterwards, he served in West Africa, in Gabon and French Congo, where he researched malaria, sleeping sickness and pellagra.

Nice Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi). Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Brest, France Subprefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.

Association with Pasteur

Upon his return to France in 1890, Calmette met Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) and Emile Roux (1853–1933), who was his professor in a course on bacteriology. He became an associate and was charged by Pasteur to found and direct a branch of the Pasteur Institute at Saigon (French Indochina), in 1891. There, he dedicated himself to the nascent field of toxicology, which had important connections to immunology, and he studied snake and bee venom, plant poisons and curare. He also organized the production of vaccines against smallpox and rabies and carried out research on cholera, and the fermentation of opium and rice.

Louis Pasteur French chemist and microbiologist

Louis Pasteur was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases, and his discoveries have saved many lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax.

Pasteur Institute organization

The Pasteur Institute is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, who made some of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine at the time, including pasteurization and vaccines for anthrax and rabies. The institute was founded on June 4, 1887, and inaugurated on November 14, 1888.

French Indochina Federal state in Southeast Asia

French Indochina, officially known as the Indochinese Union after 1887 and the Indochinese Federation after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia.

In 1894, he came back to France again and develop the first antivenoms for snake bites using immune sera from vaccinated horses (Calmette's serum). Work in this field was later taken up by Brazilian physician Vital Brazil, in São Paulo at the Instituto Butantan, who developed several other antivenoms against snakes, scorpions and spiders.

Antivenom biological product used in the treatment of venomous bites or stings

Antivenom, also known as antivenin, venom antiserum and antivenom immunoglobulin, is a medication made from antibodies which is used to treat certain venomous bites and stings. They are recommended only if there is significant toxicity or a high risk of toxicity. The specific antivenom needed depends on the species involved. It is given by injection.

Vaccine biological preparatory medicine that improves immunity to a particular disease

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future. Vaccines can be prophylactic, or therapeutic.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

He also took part in the development in the first immune serum against the bubonic plague (black pest), in collaboration with the discoverer of its pathogenic agent, Yersinia pestis , by Alexandre Yersin (1863–1943), and went to Portugal to study and to help fight an epidemic at Oporto.

Bubonic plague Human and animal disease

Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally, the swollen lymph nodes may break open.

<i>Yersinia pestis</i> species of bacteria, cause of plague

Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative, nonmotile, rod-shaped coccobacillus bacteria, with no spores. It is a facultative anaerobic organism that can infect humans via the Oriental rat flea. It causes the disease plague, which takes three main forms: pneumonic, septicemic and bubonic plagues. All three forms were responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history, including: the sixth century's Plague of Justinian; the Black Death, which accounted for the death of at least one-third of the European population between 1347 and 1353; and the Third Pandemic, sometimes referred to as the Modern Plague, which began in the late nineteenth century in China and spread by rats on steamboats claiming close to 10,000,000 lives. These plagues likely originated in China and were transmitted west via trade routes. Recent research indicates that the pathogen may have been the cause of what is described as the Neolithic Decline, when European populations declined significantly. This would push the date to much earlier and might be indicative of an origin in Europe rather than Eurasia.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Institute leadership

In 1895, Roux entrusted him with the directorship of the Institute's branch at Lille (Institut Pasteur de Lille), where he was to remain for the next 25 years. In 1901, he founded the first antituberculosis dispensary at Lille, and named it after Emile Roux. In 1904, he founded the "Ligue du Nord contre la Tuberculose" (Northern Antituberculosis League), which still exists today.

Lille Prefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.

In 1909, he helped to establish the Institute branch in Algiers (Algeria). In 1918, he accepted the post of assistant director of the Institute in Paris; the following year he was made a member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine.

Research on tuberculosis

Albert Calmette in 1923 Albert Calmette 1923.jpg
Albert Calmette in 1923

Calmette's main scientific work, which was to bring him worldwide fame and his name permanently attached to the history of medicine was the attempt to develop a vaccine against tuberculosis, which, at the time, was a major cause of death. The German microbiologist Robert Koch had discovered, in 1882, that the tubercle bacillus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis , was its pathogenic agent, and Louis Pasteur became interested in it too. In 1906, a veterinarian and immunologist, Camille Guérin, had established that immunity against tuberculosis was associated with the living tubercle bacilli in the blood. Using Pasteur's approach, Calmette investigated how immunity would develop in response to attenuated bovine bacilli injected in animals. This preparation received the name of its two discoverers (Bacillum Calmette-Guérin, or BCG, for short). Attenuation was achieved by cultivating them in a bile-containing substrate, based on idea given by a Norwegian researcher, Kristian Feyer Andvord (1855–1934). From 1908 to 1921, Guérin and Calmette strived to produce less and less virulent strains of the bacillus, by transferring them to successive cultures. Finally, in 1921, they used BCG to successfully vaccine newborn infants in the Charité in Paris.

The vaccination program, however, suffered a serious setback when 72 vaccinated children developed tuberculosis in 1930, in Lübeck, Germany, due to a contamination of some batches in Germany. Mass vaccination of children was reinstated in many countries after 1932, when new and safer production techniques were implemented. Notwithstanding, Calmette was deeply shaken by the event, dying one year later, in Paris.

Personal life

He was the brother of Gaston Calmette (1858–1914), the editor of Le Figaro who was murdered in 1914 by Henriette Caillaux.

Legacy

Today, his name is one of the few remaining French names in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (others being Yersin, Alexandre de Rhodes, Pasteur). A new bridge (completed in 2009) is also named "Calmette" connecting district 1 to district 4, also connected to the exit of the new Thu Thiem tunnel connecting the district 1 to the future residential Thu Thiem area in district 2. In Cambodia, a major hospital was named after him, Calmette Hospital.

Related Research Articles

BCG vaccine vaccine

Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB). In countries where tuberculosis or leprosy is common, one dose is recommended in healthy babies as close to the time of birth as possible. In areas where tuberculosis is not common, only children at high risk are typically immunized, while suspected cases of tuberculosis are individually tested for and treated. Adults who do not have tuberculosis and have not been previously immunized but are frequently exposed may be immunized as well. BCG also has some effectiveness against Buruli ulcer infection and other nontuberculous mycobacteria infections. Additionally it is sometimes used as part of the treatment of bladder cancer.

Alexandre Yersin Swiss and French physician and bacteriologist

Alexandre Emile Jean Yersin was a Swiss and naturalized French physician and bacteriologist. He is remembered as the discoverer of the bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague or pest, which was later named in his honour.

BCG may refer to:

Camille Guérin French veterinarian and scientist

Jean-Marie Camille Guérin was a French veterinarian, bacteriologist and immunologist who, together with Albert Calmette, developed the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for immunization against tuberculosis.

Edmond Nocard French veterinarian and microbiologist

Edmond Isidore Etienne Nocard, was a French veterinarian and microbiologist, born in Provins.

Armand Frappier, was a physician, microbiologist, and expert on tuberculosis from Quebec, Canada.

Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines.

Casimir Davaine French physician

Casimir Davaine 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.

Georges Girard was a French bacteriologist born in Isigny-sur-Mer, Calvados.

Amédée Borrel French biologist

Amédée Marie Vincent Borrel was a French physician and microbiologist born in Cazouls-lès-Béziers, Hérault.

Pasteur Institute of Lille

The Pasteur Institute of Lille is a research centre and member of the Pasteur Institute network. It includes 14 research units and 1,150 employees including 626 researchers located in Lille, France. There are also 300 employees located outside the Pasteur site. Its revenues are above €70 million. Several neuroscience start-up companies have emerged from the Pasteur Institute of Lille.

Félix Mesnil zoologist, biologist

Félix Étienne Pierre Mesnil was a French zoologist, biologist, botanist, mycologist and algologist.

Marcel Baltazard French physician

Marcel Baltazard was a French physician and medical researcher. Known for his work on plague and rabies, he was the director of the Pasteur Institute of Iran from 1946 to 1961 and then head of the service of epidemiology in the Pasteur Institute of Paris.

Paul Remlinger was a French physician and biologist born in Bertrange, Moselle.

Alfred Boquet was a French veterinarian and biologist born in Cires-lès-Mello.

Léopold Nègre French physician

Léopold Nègre was a French biologist born in Montpellier.

Calmette is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Hélène Sparrow Polish microbiologist and public health pioneer

Hélène Sparrow was a pioneer in world public health, a medical doctor and microbiologist. She was noted for her work to control typhus in Poland after the First World War and then leading national programmes of vaccination against diphtheria, scarlet fever, spotted fever and relapsing fever in Poland and Tunisia into the 1960s.

References

  1. m., C. J. (1934). "Leon Charles Albert Calmette. 1863-1933". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society . 1 (3): 315. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1934.0015.
  2. https://www.sma.org.sg/UploadedImg/files/SMJ/5307/5307stamp1.pdf

Bibliography