The history of the discovery of the Aureus

In the night from 16 to 17 September 1899 at the Kharkov Institute for noble maidens it has taken now several pupils. They suffered from acute pain in the stomach (i.e., in the upper abdomen in the center), painful vomiting and diarrhea, terrible fear of death.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

The stale food poisoning – a common phenomenon in those days, therefore, caused to the patient by the doctor, organizing gastric lavage, tried to establish that such ladies have eaten. Examination of the remnants of the dinner gave nothing – everything was fresh.

The number of patients grew, and by nightfall was the 28 – almost all the girls!

At this point, the doctor found that all ladies – sick and those few girls who don't have sick, ate the same dinner. It turned out, it's not about the food.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Moreover, from the banal to the stale food poisoning symptoms differed emergency severity. Besides, due to severe pain and exhausting vomiting girls couldn't really tell what they're feeling. Maybe a metallic taste in the mouth is, maybe not. Maybe the screams reflect the degree of pain, and might be a manifestation of evolved inappropriate behavior. Maybe they can't swallow because of severe nausea and vomiting incessantly, maybe it's a neurological disorder of swallowing. And this fear of death...

In General, the doctor suspected arsenic poisoning and called the police.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

After a few hours it has been established that ate sick and not eating is not sick. It turned out that after dinner there was a small celebration for the coming of the day of Faith, Hope and Love, then the analogue of the Eighth of March. On the feast filed walnut cake. Everyone who got sick ate it. Those who are not sick, wouldn't eat it.

The cake was fresh today. It was produced in a very expensive French patisserie While, enjoyed the highest reputation.

It turned out, the poison was added to cake?

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Physician confidence in the release of arsenic, however, hesitated. One of the mysteries of the then food was often can be without any harm to eat meat "tainted", with the bread mold, stale cheese, rotten fruit or slightly stale fish, but the freshest pastries and cakes, beautiful in appearance, taste and smell could cause inexplicable poisoning. And it is, as a rule, was exactly the same as now, is a very strong, heavy.

By morning it turned out that, in addition to the Institute of noble maidens, the same disease struck about 200 people in the city. And they all ate walnut cake at the bakery Yet. And they were all very prominent in Kharkov people – the cake from it While I could afford not everyone.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

The legs raised all who had a medical degree, all who were able to detect in Kharkov and the surrounding area.

Version with criminal polyposis arsenic food was bursting at the seams. It was still possible to imagine that the killer is targeting one particular young lady, and the poisoned cake in the Institute, and 27 of the 28 girls suffered "no" just "together". However, to imagine that the perp broke into a bakery While and sprinkled with arsenic are all manufactured in the same day cakes in the hope that at least one of them will be eaten by his intended victim, it was difficult.

Whatever it was, the remains of the cake with the whole city lucky in the chemical laboratory of the Kharkov University. The analysis took three days. Traces of arsenic were found. As it was not found traces of any other mineral poison. In General, it wasn't a crime of mysterious mass murderer.

Moreover, the efforts of all there is in the city's doctors were not in vain for three days all the sick recovered. Someone was still weak, someone else felt unwell, but the main symptoms are gone.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

It was obvious what had happened, "banal" poisoning cakes, and it would be possible to "close the case" to calm down and continue to live, but the Institute of noble maidens was in fact obliged to keep the brand! No respectable institution will not tolerate negligence of vendor food! Moreover, the Institute of noble maidens! The office of the Institute pestering everyone I could to exasperate.

The twentieth of September box with a piece of stale cake was on the Desk of the head of the Kharkiv sanitary laboratory Lisenkova.

Lashenkov already made one epoch-making discovery – about this another time, he still had to make another significant discovery – and on that another time, and now he's about any discoveries did not think.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Except stale cake from Lisenkova there was nothing else. No one had thought to take samples of vomiting and diarrhea cases, and now it was too late – all recovered.

In General, based on the triviality of the case and the lack of material, it would be possible to close the case. But lashenkov became a doctor for this. It was driven by curiosity. And he knew how to ask questions – first of all, herself.

The ingredients of the cake kept in the strictest confidence. Lisenkov is all over now, and I managed to get the recipe of the famous nutty cake – provided that lashenkov can't tell anyone (and he said). The recipe had a lot of things, but nothing unusual – the secret was only in the ratios of the components.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

The composition of the cakes Lisenkova didn't care – the cakes are baked all the bacteria thus had to die. The cream is prepared on the fire, but to a boil ever. It was already suspicious. But most importantly – after the cream has cooled, it added finely chopped walnuts. But it was very suspicious.

But there was one "but". Purchased the nuts used in the preparation of the ill-fated cakes, used until now. The party purchased nut is still not over! Cakes and more poisonings did.

Most doctors would have stopped. It is obvious that it is not in the ingredients of the cakes!

But lashenkov "burned" similar medical problems. In them he found the drive. So stay wasn't going to.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Further questioning revealed Until that day, when preparing the ill-fated cakes, the kitchen was unbearably hot. In Kharkov in General the weather has been warm, and the room where prepared cakes, temperature crossed well over 30 degrees. Maybe closer to 40. From workers when they went outside, was "steaming".

Lashenkov sown on fertile ground the remnants of the cream, especially those in which there were crumbs crushed nuts. He could do it "as usual", but, damn it, curiosity! He decided to mimic the conditions that day and began to maintain in culture temperature of 37 degrees.

He did not do it, sowing wouldn't have mattered, and the case would be closed with no result. But he did.

Through the day the colony grew. And it was clearly a mistake. Colonies were circular, convex (raised above the surface), with smooth edges, bright orange color. Under the microscope they consisted of the assembled clusters of balls. In General, it was groddeck. Nowadays we use a fully Greek translation of the title of this organism aureus. In this case, Lisenkova increased its kind – Staphylococcus aureus (hence the color of the colonies).

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus was open only 19 years ago, in 1880. It quickly became clear that it is widespread. Special suspicion of a new microorganism scientists were not. And then suddenly it turned out that poisoning confectionery caused by them?!

Lashenkov tried to find at least one culture of other microorganisms, but there were none. Rose only Staphylococcus aureus.

It was possible to stop. The experience was a failure. A few days pathogen, causing poisoning, died, he was replaced ordinary staphylococci. In General, it's really closed.

But lashenkov could not stop. He injected a tiny dose of culture (0.2 ml) to the Guinea pig. And she showing all of the symptoms died after 10 hours.

Is it really aureus?

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

It was necessary to put an experiment on man, and in such cases the only man on your conscience to perform an experiment is yourself. Lashenkov went incognito While in a bakery and bought two walnut cake. Slice one he ate immediately. Nothing happened.

What if the cake a little stand? Three days later the second cake was quite dry, but lashenkov ate a slice of this cake. And again nothing happened.

What does that mean? So in laboratory conditions aureus is not against to kill a Guinea pig, but in real conditions act on the person refuses?

On the same day lashenkov talked to Poltava medical officer Bogopolskii. As usual, you tell the interlocutor his story, and he says: "And we have been bigger!". It turned out that Easter in in Poltava cake "potato" poisoned 46 people. And also – of the best, the most expensive bakery in the city.

What happens? Staphylococcus poisoning only products of the highest quality manufacturers? Those who are not on fear, but on the conscience of watching the freshness of products, and the correctness of the production process? Nonsense!

Had Bogopolskii inquire details. It turned out that Easter in in Poltava and the heat was unbearable...

Lashenkov rushed back to the lab. He sowed the remnants of the Institute's cake on fertile ground, but began to grow microorganism at different temperatures.

At 37 degrees aureus killed all the competitors and exuberantly flourished familiar bright orange colonies. And the extract from these colonies was lethal for laboratory animals.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

At room temperature was reverse – Staphylococcus aureus to grow did not want, and there is not a colony suppressed in the case of other staphylococci. They can poison even the most small laboratory animals is not worked.

Took a party of nuts, which were cooked cakes have Yet. Same thing at 37 degrees wildly flourished Staphylococcus aureus, deadly for laboratory animals, but at 20 degrees – it's like it never happened!

So... the Conclusion does not fit in the head. So, Staphylococcus aureus, so prevalent around, normally harmless, but if you give him good food (sweet pastry cream) and appropriate temperature (the temperature of the human body, 37 degrees), he quickly multiply at an incredible scale. Each of the resulting staphyloccocal will throw in the cream products in your life, due to the number of staphylococci these products will accumulate a lot, and they reach that amount and concentration when will act on the human body as a poison (or buzzword – toxin). Harmless microscopic balls will turn into killers...

No matter how incredible the conclusion, all the evidence said. And lashenkov finally decided to publish an article.

The history of the discovery of the Aureus

Since then, the "Staphylococcus aureus" no longer seems harmless. Since then, the bakers do not allow the plants to high temperatures and keep their products cold, even if it is necessary to store only a few tens of minutes.

Interested in our current perception of Pavel Nikolayevich Lisenkova. In the vast majority we never heard anything. Lashenkov a lot of things revealed, but even this one is the story of Kharkiv cakes was to make his name immortal. But I didn't. A personality no contribution to the world of science has not made, but they have ears, but here it is a tangible contribution! About Lisenkova something you can remember in Tomsk, where his 5 years later was invited to head the Department, in Kharkov, but don't know about it, in Ukrainian Wikipedia has no article about it, no street, no one institution or in Kharkov, nor in Tomsk't bear his name. In General, there is no prophet in his own country.

Keywords: Health and medicine | History | Discovery | Kharkov | Cakes | Food and drinks | Germs

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