Victor Babes


Victor Babes (1854-1926) Romanian physician, founder of modern microbiology; he wrote the first treatise on bacteriology; discovered more than 50 new germs and initiated serotherapy and was one of the first in promoting modern ideas about antibiotics.


1854: He is born in Wien, in a family from Banat region.
- Victor Babes studies medicine even if he wants to become an actor.
- Later he became a university assistant at the Universities of Vienna and Budapest.
1885: He works out the first treatise on bacteriology in the world. ("Bacteria and their role in the anatomy and pathological histology of contagious diseases", co-written with French scientist A. V. Cornil)
1888: He is Professor of Pathology and Bacteriology at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest and member of the Romanian Academy.

He conceived serotherapy, the transmission of immunity through the serum of immunized animals, especially regarding the virus of rabies. He made essential, worldwide known investigations on rabies, leprosy, diphtheria, tuberculosis, etc. He also identified in the cells of the brain of animals sick with rabies, the Babes-Negri diagnostics-relevant corpuscles. He discovered more than 50 new germs (the pseudobacillus of glanders, the germs in the paratyphoid group, etc.) and initiated serotherapy. His important researches on the microbial antagonisms took him to being one of the first in promoting modern ideas on antibiotics. It was Babes who first used anti-rabic vaccination in Romania, to even improve it through combining it, in hopeless cases, with serotherapy. He developed the first rationalized model of a thermostat. He also proposed tinting methods for bacteria and mushrooms in cultures and histologicals, etc. He was highly preoccupied with solving the problems in the preventive medicine (water supply in towns and villages, scientific organisation of the antiepidemic campaigns).