See also: Duchesne
Ernest Duchesne (Paris, May 30th 1874 - Amélie-the-Baths-Palalda, April 12th 1912) was a Médecin French which discovered that certain moulds could kill out of the Bactérie S. It made this discovery, which remained unapplied, thirty-two years before that of Alexander Fleming which showed the antibiotic properties of penicillin, a substance derived from these moulds.
Duchesne makes its studies with the Ecole of the Military Department of health of Lyon, in 1894. Its thesis, “Contribution to the study of vital competition at the micro-organisms: antagonism between the moulds and the microbes”, that it defends in 1897 to obtain its doctorate, is the first study considering the therapeutic possibilities of the moulds resulting from their antimicrobic activity.
In particular, Duchesne studies the interaction between Escherichia coli and Penicillium glaucum, proving that this last can completely eliminate the first in a culture containing these two only organizations. It also proves that an animal inoculated with an amount mortal of bacilli of the Typhoïde is free from disease if it were inoculated beforehand with the Penicillium glaucum. He asks that thorough research be carried out, but unfortunately the army, after him to have delivered its diploma, does not make any other research in this promising field. Duchesne will not give any more the feet in a laboratory.
Duchesne makes its boarding school with the Val de Grâce before being named major assistance of 2nd class in the 2nd Regiment of Hussards de Senlis. In 1901, it marries Rosa Lassalas resident with Cannes which dies, unfortunately, two years later of tuberculosis. In 1904, Duchesne contracts an unknown lung disease. Three years later, the army discharges it from its service and sends it in a center of care to Amélie-the-Baths where it finishes its life.
Duchesne dies at the age 37 years on April 12th, 1912 and is buried in the cemetery of Cannes beside his wife.
It is in 1946 that Ramon and Richou publish a paper in the review “Medical Progress” where they point out the anteriority of work of Duchesne. In 1949, the Académie of Medicine recognizes it like the precursor of the therapy by means of antibiotics, one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. Its name was given to promotion 1983 of the École of the department of health of the armies of Lyon-Bron.
QuotationIn the last paragraph of its thesis, Duchesne affirms: One can thus hope that by continuing the study of the facts of biological competition between moulds and microbes, study only outlined by us and to which we have of another claim only to have contributed here a very modest share, one will arrive, perhaps, with discovered of other facts directly useful and applicable to prophylactic hygiene and the therapeutic one.
- the thesis of Duchesne on the site of the UFR of medicine of Lyon-south
- a page in connection with Duchesne on the site of the inter-University Library of medicine
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