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Theodor Escherich (; 29 November 1857 – 15 February 1911) was a
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
-
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
n
pediatrician Paediatrics ( also spelled pediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understan ...

pediatrician
and a professor at universities in
Graz Graz ( , ; sl, Gradec) is the capital city of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that ...

Graz
and
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...
. He discovered and described the bacterium ''
Escherichia coli ''Escherichia coli'' (),Wells, J. C. (2000) Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Harlow ngland Pearson Education Ltd. also known as ''E. coli'' (), is a Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-negative, Facultative anaerobic organism, facultative anaer ...

Escherichia coli
''.


Life and achievements


Family and education

Theodor Escherich was born in
Ansbach Ansbach (; ) is a city in the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality la ...

Ansbach
, as the younger son of ''Kreismedizinalrat'' (District Medical Officer) Ferdinand Escherich (1810−1888), a medical
statistician A statistician is a person who works with Theory, theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private sector, private and public sectors. It is common to combine statistical knowledge with expertise in other subjects, a ...
, and his second wife, Maria Sophie Frederike von Stromer, daughter of a Bavarian army colonel. When Theodor Escherich was five, his mother died, and five years later Ferdinand Escherich moved to
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian Main-Franconian (german: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian German, East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main (river), Main which meets the rive ...

Würzburg
to take up his former position as ''Kreismedizinalrat'' and married his third wife. When Theodor was 12, he was sent to a boarding school run by
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six co ...
in Feldkirch,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
for three years. Later, he finished secondary education in Würzburg, where he attended a ''Gymnasium'' (classical language high school) and took his ''
Abitur ''Abitur'' () is a qualification granted at the end of secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a sta ...
'' examination in 1876. After a half-year military service in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Bas-Rhin (; Alsatian: ''Unterelsàss'', ' or '; traditional german: links=no, Niederrhein; en, Lower Rhine) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, divi ...

Strasbourg
, Escherich took up his studies of medicine at the
University of Würzburg The Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (also referred to as the University of Würzburg, in German ''Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg'') is a public research university in Würzburg, Germany. The University of Würzburg is one of ...
in the winter term of 1876. Later, he attended the universities of
Kiel Kiel () is the capital and most populous city in the northern German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany ...

Kiel
and
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
, and returned to Würzburg before passing his medical examination with excellence in December 1881.


Medical career in Würzburg and Munich (1882−1890)

After an 18-month service in a military hospital in
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
, Escherich returned to Würzburg in 1882 to become second and later first assistant to the internist
Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt (there are several variations regarding the arrangement of his 3 middle names; 5 May 1833 – 22 July 1902) was a German internist born in Speyer. Biography He studied medicine at the University of Würzb ...

Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt
in the medical clinic of the Julius Hospital, Würzburg. Gerhardt became Escherich's doctoral advisor and suggested the topic of his thesis. On 27 October 1882, Escherich was awarded his
medical doctorate Doctor of Medicine (abbreviated M.D., from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Lat ...
. In the following two years, he attended lectures in Vienna (with Hermann von Widerhofer and Alois Monti) and did bacteriological research work at the St Anna Children's Clinic. In August 1884, he continued his research work in Munich, where pediatrics had been established as a department of the medical faculty. In October 1884, the Bavarian authorities sent Escherich to
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
to do research work in the actual
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body by , their multiplication, and the reaction of tissues to the infectious agents and the s they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disea ...

cholera
epidemic. He also travelled to
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
, where he heard lectures by
Jean-Martin Charcot Jean-Martin Charcot (; 29 November 1825 – 16 August 1893) was a French neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a branch of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), ...

Jean-Martin Charcot
, the renowned
neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''-logia''). The earliest English example ...
.


Discovery of ''Escherichia coli''

In 1886, after intensive laboratory investigations, Escherich published a monograph on the relationship of intestinal bacteria to the physiology of digestion in the infant. This work, presented to the medical faculty in Munich and published in
Stuttgart Stuttgart (; Swabian: ; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') ...

Stuttgart
, ''Die Darmbakterien des Säuglings und ihre Beziehungen zur Physiologie der Verdauung'' (1886) (''Enterobacteria of infants and their relation to digestion physiology''), was to become his habilitation treatise and established him as the leading bacteriologist in the field of paediatrics.
It was also the publication where Escherich described a bacterium which he called “bacterium coli commune” and which was later to be called ''Escherichia coli''.According to Oberbauer p. 314, the naming was proposed by
Aldo Castellani Aldo Castellani, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, KCMG (8 September 1874 – 3 October 1971) was an Italy, Italian pathologist and bacteriologist. Life and achievements Castellani was born in Florence and educated the ...
and his partner Chalmers in 1919, but the name was not officially recognized until 1958.
For the next four years, Escherich worked as first assistant to
Heinrich von Ranke Heinrich von Ranke (8 May 1830, Rückersdorf, Bavaria, Rückersdorf – 13 May 1909, Munich) was a German physiologist and pediatrician. He was the son of theologian Friedrich Heinrich Ranke (1798-1876) and the brother of anthropologist Johanne ...
at the Munich ''Von Haunersche Kinderklinik''.


Professor of Pediatrics in Graz and Vienna (1890−1911)

In 1890, Escherich succeeded Rudolf von Jaksch, who had been called to Prague, as professor extraordinary of pediatrics and director of the St Anna children’s clinic in Graz, where he became professor ordinary four years later. While working in Graz, he married Margarethe Pfaundler (1890−1946), daughter of the physicist Leopold Pfaundler. They had a son Leopold (born 1893), who died at age ten, and a daughter Charlotte (called "Sonny") (born 1895), who survived to the 1980s.
Escherich made the Graz pediatric hospital one of the best-known institutions in Europe. In 1902, Escherich succeeded Hermann Widerhofer as full professor of pediatrics in Vienna, where he directed the ''St.-Anna-Kinderspital'' (St. Anna Children's Hospital). Escherich became renowned in 1903 when he founded the ''Säuglingsschutz'' (Infant Defence Society) and started a high-profile campaign for
breastfeeding Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The World Healt ...

breastfeeding
. He died in Vienna in 1911.


Honors

*1894 — Honorary member of the
Moscow Moscow ( , American English, US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Russia by population, largest city of Russia. The city stands on the ...

Moscow
Pediatric Society *1905 — Honorary member of the
American Pediatric Society The American Pediatric Society (APS) is the first pediatric society established in North America. Created in 1888, the APS pursues a vision of an engaged, inclusive and impactful community of pediatric thought leaders. The APS mission is shaping ...
*1905 — Member of the Academy of Science,
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
*1906 — Awarded title of '' kaiserlich-königlicher
Hofrat ''Geheimrat'' was the title of the highest advising officials at the Imperial, royal or princely courts of the Holy Roman Empire, who jointly formed the ''Geheimer Rat'' reporting to the ruler. The term remained in use during subsequent monarchic r ...
'' (Official Imperial and Royal Privy Councillor) *1906 — Member of the Medical Academy in Rome *1909 — Honorary member of the Belgian ''Liga de la Protection de la Première Enfance''


References


Further reading

* * — also contains ''Grundlagen und Ziele der modernen Pädiatrie um die Jahrhundertwende'' by Theodor Escherich


External links


Biography
on
Who Named It? ''Whonamedit?'' is an online English-language dictionary of medical eponyms and the people associated with their identification. Though it is a dictionary, many eponyms and persons are presented in extensive articles with comprehensive bibliographie ...
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Escherich, Theodor 1857 births 1911 deaths German pediatricians People from Ansbach People from the Kingdom of Bavaria Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich faculty University of Graz faculty University of Vienna faculty