From Ignác Semmelweis to Primary Immunodeficiencies: a Bicentenary Commemoration
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From time to time, painters emerge who paint new colors, creating new moods in painting. Baudelaire’s moods and ideas were unknown before he arose, reported them in poems, and taught us new ways to think about poetry.
[Endre Ady, Hungarian poet]
Art and science are like two branches of the same tree. The nineteenth century was an extraordinary period for art and literature in Europe, but it also witnessed extraordinary discoveries in biology and clinical medicine . Ignác Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician born 200 years ago in Buda, was one of those responsible for the development of new ideas concerning human diseases . He investigated the epidemiology of puerperal fever (childbed fever) and described effective methods for its prevention. His groundbreaking observation that the use of a solution of chlorinated lime (calcium hypochlorite) for handwashing before the examination of patients prevented disease led to him being regarded as the father of asepsis .
I thank Jean-Laurent Casanova, Melinda Erdős, and Zoltán Papp for encouraging me to write this editorial and for the helpful suggestions and Katalin Mikecz for offering the picture of Semmelweis.
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Conflict of Interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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