Patrick Manson (1844-1922) FRS: Filaria (Mansonella) perstans and sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis)
University College London, 11 Old London Road, St Albans, Herts., UK.Journal of Medical Biography 05/2012; 20(2):69. DOI: 10.1258/jmb.2010.010051
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ABSTRACT: The conquest of pellagra is commonly associated with one name: Joseph Goldberger of the US Public Health Service, who in 1914 went south, concluded within 4 months that the cause was inadequate diet, spent the rest of his life researching the disease, and-before his death from cancer in 1929-found that brewer's yeast could prevent and treat it at nominal cost. It does Goldberger no discredit to emphasize that between 1907 and 1914 a patchwork coalition of asylum superintendents, practicing physicians, local health officials, and others established for the first time an English-language competence in pellagra, sifted through competing hypotheses, and narrowed the choices down to two: an insect-borne infection hypothesis, championed by the flamboyant European Louis Westerna Sambon, and the new "vitamine hypothesis," proffered by Casimir Funk in early 1912 and articulated later that year by two members of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Fleming Mant Sandwith and Rupert Blue. Those who resisted Goldberger's inconvenient truth that the root cause was southern poverty drew their arguments largely from the Thompson-McFadden Pellagra Commission, which traces back to Sambon's unfortunate influence on American researchers. Thousands died as a result.
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