Biography of Fritz Schaudinn (1871-1906)

Zoologist and German bacteriologist born on September 19, 1871 in the town of Röseningken (East Prussia) and died in Hamburg on June 22, 1906. Member of the International Commission of Protozoology, his scientific career was mainly devoted to the study of the life cycle of the protozoa, but his most significant contribution to science was the discovery, in 1905 and together with Erich Hoffmann, of the spirochete Treponema pallidum, the causative agent of syphilis.

Figures key to the development of the Protozoology and its conversion in experimental science, studied zoology at the University of Berlin, which attained his PhD in 1894. The excellence of its academic record allowed him to do in 1898 with a post of reader at the University. A few years later, in 1904, he/she conducted in Berlin protozoologico the Imperial Office of health laboratory, where he/she developed his main research. From those moments, Schaudinn focused their experiments protozoologicos in the description of the differences between the Entamoeba histolytica responsible for amoebic dysentery and its less harmful counterpart, Entamoeba coli. Through studies in 1904 he/she came to the conclusion that this type of parasite infection occurred through the skin. Unfortunately, subsequent to the Schaudinn research reflected that it had come to this conclusion based on erroneous assumptions and incorrect comments. However, its academic weight at that time made imposition of the scientific name of Entamoeba histolytica for the parasitic Amoeba. These failures in the remarks provoked that you identify the non-pathogenic amoebas which would determine exactly Lesh years later. Schaudinn, without intending it, delayed knowledge of amebiasis in describing a so-called lifecycle of the pathogenic amoebas which was completely fictional and that included a non-existent process of sporulation. Its scientific authority was so important that it induced error to some of the most important scientists of his time. There were researchers who even confirmed this phenomenon of sporulation, as it was the case with American Craig, who in 1908 through a so-called rigorous artwork showed the existence of this phenomenon, that time would prove unrealistic. It was not until 1909 when Huber showed the amoebas were propagated from one to another person in the form of cysts.

Despite this huge mistake, Schaudinn left an important legacy in the medical world. His most prominent contribution was certainly the discovery in 1905, along with Hoffmann, the causative agent of syphilis, the Spiroqueta pallida, later called Treponema pallidum. He/She also conducted important discoveries on malaria or malaria, which confirmed the work of sir Ronald Ross and g. B. Grassi, studying especially in birds and humans.

Fritz Schaudinn died on June 22, 1906, at the age of thirty-five years, because of various complications in an amebiasis which was self-produced. His most important editorial work was the publication, since 1902, a newspaper titled Archiv fuer Protistenkunde.