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Agronomía Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-9965


VOLCY, Charles. Genesis and evolution of Koch postulates and their relationship with phytopathology. A review. Agron. colomb. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.1, pp.107-115. ISSN 0120-9965.

Robert Koch, German physician, is known as one of the pioneers of microbiology and medical bacteriology. During the prevalence of anthrax and tuberculosis in the Old World in the 19th century, he developed the germ disease theory that states that infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms. In doing that, he also developed a revolutionary experimental protocol - Koch postulates - in order to establish whether a microbe is in necessary and sufficient condition to cause a given disease. This review discusses the roots of his theory, with origins in the Middle Ages, its essence, its antagonists, the numerous and genius experiments that anticipated the given theory and their relationship with the development of plant pathology. The limitations of the original version of the postulates are discussed, along with the amendments proposed since the 30's to today era of molecular tools. It is deducted that, due to its consistency, stability, conceptual coherence, and logical reasoning, Koch postulates have withstood the test of time.

Keywords : diseases; origins; anthrax; tuberculosis; saffron; experimental protocol.

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