Koch's postulates or Henle-Koch postulates are four criteria that were formulated by Robert Kochin 1884and refined and published by him in 1890. According to Koch, all four must be fulfilled in order to establish a causal relationship between a parasiteand a disease. He applied these to establish the etiologyof anthraxand tuberculosis, but they have been generalized to other diseases.
- The organism must be found in all animals suffering from the disease, but not in healthy animals.
- The organism must be isolated from a diseased animal and grown in pure culture.
- The cultured organism should cause disease when introduced into a healthy animal.
- The organism must be reisolated from the experimentally infected animal.
However, it must be noted that Koch abandoned the first postulate altogether when he discovered asymptomatic carriers of cholera(Koch, 1893) and later, Typhoid Mary. Indeed, asymptomatic carriers of many diseases have since been found, especially viruses such as polio, herpes simplex, HIVand hepatitis C. As a specific example, all doctors and virologists agree that poliovirus causes paralysis in just a few infected subjects, and the success of the polio vaccine in preventing disease supports the conviction that the poliovirus is the causative agent.
The third postulate does not always happen, as Koch himself discovered and stated in regard to both tuberculosisand cholera(Koch, 1884). Indeed, we see this today with diseases such as HIV, where CCR5?32 deletion individuals seem to be resistant to infection with HIV.
- Koch R. Über die Ätiologie der Tuberkulose. In: "Verhandlungen des Kongresses für Innere Medizin. Erster Kongress, Wiesbaden 1882".
- Koch R. (1884) Mitt Kaiser Gesundh 2, 1-88
- Koch R. (1893) J. Hyg. Inf. 14, 319-333es:Postulados de Koch
pt:Postulados de Koch
Categories: Epidemiology| Infectious diseases
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch%27s+postulates Wikipedia article Koch's postulates.