Virology Division News 2261 Arch Virol 143/11 (1998) Virology Division News VDN A reappraisal of the contribution of Friedrich Loeffler to the development of the modern concept of virus Jean Witz Immunochemie des Peptides et des Virus, CNRS, Strasbourg, France Most virology textbooks, with the exception of the Afterword of A. J. Levine’s chapter in the third edition of Field’s Virology (1996), emphasize the contribution of Martinus Beijerinck (1898) to the birth of the modern concept of virus and they refer to Friedrich Loeffler (1898) only because he was the first to have shown the filterability of the animal virus Foot and mouth disease virus. Following Adolf Mayer  who first described the mosaic disease of tobacco and demonstrated that the sap of diseased tobacco plants was infectious, Dimitri Ivanowsky (1896) showed that such saps remained infectious after filtering through Chamberland filters. Beijerinck confirmed Ivanowsky’s observations and further showed that the infec- tious agent could diffuse through several millimeters of an agar gel, from which he concluded that the agent could not be a bacteria. Beijerinck also showed that the infectivity of sap remained constant during serial infections of plants, providing evidence that the agent could not be a
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 1998
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