In the 1930s California’s rapid population growth and the incursion of agricultural settlers into valleys and deserts teeming with exotic pathogens resulted in outbreaks of "new" infectious diseases. To divine the cause of these outbreaks and trace the epidemics to their source, health officials turned to San Francisco’s premier "microbe hunter," Karl Friedrich Meyer.
Drawing on Meyer’s papers at the UCSF and Bancroft libraries, Mark Honigsbaum, PhD reviews Meyer’s feats of microbial detection and his pioneering investigations of disease ecology. Dr. Honigsbaum views Meyer as an important bridge figure in mid-20th century medical research who sought to link microbial behavior to broader environmental and social factors that impact host-pathogen interactions and the mechanisms of disease control.
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