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|Died||November 22, 1938 65) (aged|
|Alma mater||Okayama University|
|Fields|| Bacteriology |
Sahachirō Hata (秦 佐八郎, Hata Sahachirō, March 23, 1873 – November 22, 1938) was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who researched the bubonic plague under Kitasato Shibasaburō and assisted in developing the Arsphenamine drug in 1909 in the laboratory of Paul Ehrlich.
Hata received three unsuccessful nominations for the Nobel Prize, one from Swiss surgeon Emil Kocher for Chemistry in 1911 and two by Japanese colleagues Hayazo Ito and G Osawa for Physiology or Medicine in 1912 and 1913, respectively.  
Hata was born in Tsumo Village, Shimane prefecture (now part of Masuda City) as the eighth son of the Yamane family. At the age of 14, he was adopted by the Hata family, whose male members were doctors from generation to generation. Hata completed his medical education in Okayama at the Third Higher School of Medicine (now Okayama University School of Medicine). In 1897, he became an assistant at Okayama Prefectural Hospital where he learned internal medicine from Zenjiro Inoue and biochemistry from Torasaburo Araki.
Sahachiro Hata researched bubonic plague with Japanese bacteriologist and physician, Kitasato Shibasaburō, who co-discovered the infectious agent, a bacterium called Yersinia pestis.  Hata worked as an assistant for Kitasato and conducted research into the prevention of plague and other epidemic diseases. Hata helped formulate the "Communicable Disease Prevention Law," which was enacted in 1897 as the first legal framework for disease control in Japan. Among other things the law mandated reporting of certain disease to a public health agency in service of their control. 
In 1909, Sahachiro Hata went to work in Paul Ehrlich's laboratory, the National Institute for Experimental Therapeutics, in Frankfurt, Germany to help Ehrlich in his quest to develop a treatment for syphilis called the 'magic bullet.'  The causative agent of syphilis was discovered to be the spirochete Treponema pallidum by Fritz Schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann in 1905.  Syphilis was initially treated by topical-application or ingestion of mercury, which was very toxic.  However, arsenical compounds had proven to be effective against trypanosomes, which are similar to spirochetes, so Ehrlich directed Hata to screen all of the known synthetic arsenic derivatives for antisyphilitic properties. 
When Hata injected compound 606, arsphenamine, into rabbits infected with syphilis, he found it to be effective against syphilis in vivo.   It was called compound 606 because it was the 606th compound that Ehrlich and Hata tested. Arsphenamine was first thought to be ineffective when it was tested by Ehrlich's former assistants, so their inadequate methods were blamed for the delay of this important discovery. 
At the Congress for Internal Medicine at Wiesbaden in April 1910, Ehrlich and Hata shared their successful clinical results, which showed that arsphenamine treated syphilis in humans.  The drug was marketed under the name Salvarsan and gained international acclaim as the "arsenic that saves" and as the first man-made antibiotic.  In the wake of their discovery, some sections of European society condemned Hata's and Ehrlich's 'magic bullet' because they believed that syphilis was a divine punishment for sin and immoral acts, and thus the infected did not deserve to be cured. 
Before Salvarsan, drugs were not made to target specific diseases, like in the case of mercury treatments.  Therefore, Hata's and Ehrlich's work represents a turning point for experimental and therapeutic pharmacology and paved the way for the development of antibiotics decades later.  Salvarsan was established as the standard treatment for syphilis until it was replaced by the antibiotic penicillin after World War II, which has fewer adverse side effects. 
Hata returned to Japan and became the leading bacteriologist of his generation and continued his work testing arsphenamine against syphilis.  Hata became a director at the Kitasato Institute, and he also lectured at Keio University. In 1927, he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. 
An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the treatment and prevention of such infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. A limited number of antibiotics also possess antiprotozoal activity. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses such as the common cold or influenza; drugs which inhibit viruses are termed antiviral drugs or antivirals rather than antibiotics.
Paul Ehrlich was a Nobel Prize-winning German physician and scientist who worked in the fields of hematology, immunology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy. Among his foremost achievements were finding a cure for syphilis in 1909 and inventing the precursor technique to Gram staining bacteria. The methods he developed for staining tissue made it possible to distinguish between different types of blood cells, which led to the ability to diagnose numerous blood diseases.
Arsphenamine, also known as Salvarsan or compound 606, is a drug that was introduced at the beginning of the 1910s as the first effective treatment for syphilis, relapsing fever, and African trypanosomiasis. This organoarsenic compound was the first modern antimicrobial agent.
The year 1910 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Alexandre Emile Jean Yersin was a Swiss-French physician and bacteriologist. He is remembered as the co-discoverer of the bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague or pest, which was later named in his honour: Yersinia pestis. Another bacteriologist, the Japanese physician Kitasato Shibasaburō, is often credited with independently identifying the bacterium a few days earlier, but may have identified a different bacterium and not the pathogen-causing plague. Yersin also demonstrated for the first time that the same bacillus was present in the rodent as well as in the human disease, thus underlining the possible means of transmission.
Hideyo Noguchi, also known as Seisaku Noguchi, was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who in 1911 discovered the agent of syphilis as the cause of progressive paralytic disease.
Kiyoshi Shiga was a Japanese physician and bacteriologist. He had a well-rounded education and career that led to many scientific discoveries. In 1897, Shiga was credited with the discovery and identification of the Shigelladysenteriae microorganism which causes dysentery, and the Shiga toxin which is produced by the bacteria. He conducted research on other diseases such as tuberculosis and trypanosomiasis, and made many advancements in bacteriology and immunology.
Arsanilic acid, also known as aminophenyl arsenic acid or aminophenyl arsonic acid, is an organoarsenic compound, an amino derivative of phenylarsonic acid whose amine group is in the 4-position. A crystalline powder introduced medically in the late 19th century as Atoxyl, its sodium salt was used by injection in the early 20th century as the first organic arsenical drug, but it was soon found prohibitively toxic for human use.
A Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction is a reaction to endotoxin-like products released by the death of harmful microorganisms within the body during antibiotic treatment. Efficacious antimicrobial therapy results in lysis (destruction) of bacterial cell membranes, and in the consequent release into the bloodstream of bacterial toxins, resulting in a systemic inflammatory response.
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet is a 1940 American biographical film directed by William Dieterle and starring Edward G. Robinson, based on the true story of the German doctor and scientist Dr. Paul Ehrlich. The film was released by Warner Bros., with some controversy considering the subject of syphilis in a major studio release. It was nominated for an Oscar for its original screenplay, but lost to The Great McGinty.
Medical microbiology, the large subset of microbiology that is applied to medicine, is a branch of medical science concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. In addition, this field of science studies various clinical applications of microbes for the improvement of health. There are four kinds of microorganisms that cause infectious disease: bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, and one type of infectious protein called prion.
Ryukichi Inada was a Japanese physician, a prominent academic, and bacteriologist researcher. He was the discoverer of the Weil's disease pathogen. In addition to his life's work in early 20th-century Japanese medical education, he was a pioneer in Japanese clinical cardiology and oncology.
Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes occurring in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Acral necrosis, the dark discoloration of skin, is another symptom. Occasionally, swollen lymph nodes, known as "buboes," may break open.
Pharmaceutical engineering is a branch of engineering focused on discovering, formulating, and manufacturing medication, analytical and quality control processes, and on designing, building, and improving manufacturing sites that produce drugs. It utilizes the fields of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, and industrial engineering.
Baron Kitasato Shibasaburō was a Japanese physician and bacteriologist. He is remembered as the co-discoverer of the infectious agent of bubonic plague in Hong Kong during an outbreak in 1894, almost simultaneously with Alexandre Yersin.
The first recorded outbreak of syphilis in Europe occurred in 1494/1495 in Naples, Italy, during a French invasion. Because it was spread by returning French troops, the disease was known as "French disease", and it was not until 1530 that the term "syphilis" was first applied by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. The causative organism, Treponema pallidum, was first identified by Fritz Schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann in 1905. The first effective treatment, Salvarsan, was developed in 1910 by Sahachirō Hata in the laboratory of Paul Ehrlich. It was followed by the introduction of penicillin in 1943.
Louise Pearce was an American pathologist at the Rockefeller Institute who helped develop a treatment for African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). Sleeping sickness was a fatal epidemic which had devastated areas of Africa, killing two-thirds of the population of the Uganda protectorate between 1900 and 1906 alone. With chemists Walter Abraham Jacobs and Michael Heidelberger and pathologist Wade Hampton Brown, Pearce worked to develop and test arsenic-based drugs for its treatment. In 1920, Louise Pearce traveled to the Belgian Congo where she designed and carried out a drug testing protocol for human trials to establish tryparsamide's safety, effectiveness, and optimum dosage. Tryparsamide proved successful in combating the fatal epidemic, curing 80% of cases.
Satoshi Ōmura is a Japanese biochemist. He is known for the discovery and development of hundreds of pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with William C. Campbell for their role in the discovery of avermectins and ivermectin, the world's first endectocide and a safe and highly effective microfilaricide. It is believed that the large molecular size of ivermectin prevents it from crossing the blood/aqueous humour barrier, and renders the drug an important treatment of helminthically-derived blindness.
The magic bullet is a scientific concept developed by a German Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich in 1907. While working at the Institute of Experimental Therapy, Ehrlich formed an idea that it could be possible to kill specific microbes, which cause diseases in the body, without harming the body itself. He named the hypothetical agent as Zauberkugel, and used the English translation "magic bullet" in The Harben Lectures at London. The name itself is a reference to an old German myth about a bullet that cannot miss its target. Erlich had in mind Carl Maria von Weber's popular 1821 opera Der Freischütz, in which a young hunter is required to hit an impossible target in order to marry his bride.
The 1894 Hong Kong plague, part of the third plague pandemic, was a major outbreak of the bubonic plague in Hong Kong. While the plague was harshest in 1894, it returned annually between 1895 and 1929, and killed over 20,000 in total, with a fatality rate of more than 93%. The plague was a major turning point in the history of colonial Hong Kong, as it forced the colonial government to reexamine its policy towards the Chinese community, and invest in the wellbeing of the Chinese.