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American Dairy Association North East

American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) is a non-profit organization representing over 10,000 dairy farm families in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

ADANE is committed to nutrition education and research-based communications, with a long-standing history working with schools, retailers, and health professionals to help educate on the positive health benefits of consuming dairy products – like milk, yogurt and cheese.

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Atlantic Health Partners

The MDAFP partners with Atlantic Health Partners to help you, our members, successfully address the financial and administrative challenges of providing immunizations to your patients.

Celebrating the Faces of Vaccinology: Louis Pasteur

From eliminating measles in the U.S. to developing the first mRNA vaccine, the past few decades have been momentous for vaccine innovation and development. However, today’s progress would never have been possible without the contributions of the scientists whose research set the foundation for immunology. Our newest blog series will examine the work and impact of some of the most influential individuals in vaccinology. In the first installment, we spotlight a French chemist and microbiologist who has revolutionized our understanding and approach to treating infectious diseases, Louis Pasteur.

Groundbreaking Discoveries

Born in 1822, Louis grew up in Dole, a town located in Eastern France. He spent his early life studying in the field of chemistry, dedicating the majority of his research to the fermentation process. Through experimentation, he discovered that fermentation resulted from a metabolic process by which microorganisms convert into carbohydrates. At this time, Pasteur adopted a related view on the cause of disease, later known as his germ theory of disease. This theory proposed that disease was caused by microorganisms that could spread from one host to another, a process we know now as bacterial infection. Understanding that bacteria could cause illness, Pasteur’s germ theory laid the groundwork for his development of pasteurization, which is the process of heating food or liquid to kill harmful bacteria and prevent the spread of disease. Pasteurization is ingrained in modern public health efforts and is most commonly used in milk to prevent diseases such as listeriosis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and typhoid fever.

While Pasteur’s early work did not directly relate to vaccinology, his research shaped his understanding of pathology, which was essential to his later innovations. In 1879, Pasteur made his first important vaccination discovery while examining the disease, fowl cholera, where he injected chickens with fresh cultures of the causative organism. After using a batch of cultures left untouched for a month, the chickens developed very mild symptoms. He observed that cultures lost their pathogenicity and retained “attenuated” pathogenic characteristics throughout generations. To support his findings, he inoculated the chickens with the attenuated form and demonstrated they were resistant to the fully virulent strain of cholera. Continuing his research, he applied his principle of attenuation to anthrax and rabies, which confirmed his discovery.

It wasn’t until July 6, 1885, that Pasteur inoculated a human. Despite having no evidence that his vaccines would be effective in humans, having only tested on animals, he used his live-attenuated rabies vaccine to treat Joseph Meister, a nine-year-old boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog. He administered the vaccine 13 times over 11 days, which proceeded to save the boy’s life. This demonstrated success, which earned Pasteur the approval of his peers and validated his work in vaccinology. Using the rabies vaccine, he went on to treat and save nearly 350 people the following year. Because of the advancements he led in preventative medicine, a non-profit named the Pasteur Institute was founded in 1888 in his honor, which, to this day, continues his research in vaccinology.

The Impact of Pasteur’s Work

Pasteur’s findings significantly advanced public health and paved the way for the prevention and treatment of many infectious diseases. Live-attenuated vaccines are one of the most frequently used vaccine technologies, protecting against severe diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, smallpox, chickenpox, and yellow fever. In fact, between 2000 and 2015, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine awareness and administration saved more than 20 million babies and children worldwide. Additionally, between 1995 and 2015, the CDC estimates that the chickenpox vaccine prevented 91 million cases and 2,000 deaths in the U.S. Furthermore, as the only preventative and treatment method, the impact of the rabies vaccines has been astronomical, preventing over 29 million deaths worldwide annually.

As we revisit and honor the great scientific discoveries that have shaped our progress today, we are reminded of the crucial role of vaccines in public health. At Atlantic Health Partners, we celebrate innovation and are proud to be at the forefront of connecting your practice with the greatest vaccine offerings on the market. Connect with us to learn more about how we can support your practice’s immunization needs.

Disclaimer: The Maryland Academy of Family Physicians (MDAFP) is in a  business relationship with these partners to offer our members discounts, exclusive savings and/or resources. These partnerships or any affinity program relationships presented by the MDAFP in no way implies a MDAFP endorsement of the program, supplier, or vendor.