The origins of the fight against rabies: a journey between the history of neuroscience and university museum collections
Historical Article, 196 - 204Tag this article
Although rabies, or hydrophobia, is one of the so-called forgotten tropical diseases, it still kills thousands of people each year, especially children living in rural areas of Asia and Africa. This terrible disease was once a much-feared threat throughout Europe, whose terrifying symptoms were described in a vast body of literature that was based on both science and popular beliefs. One notable individual whose name is linked to the fight against this disease is Adelchi Negri, a brilliant but unfortunate pupil of Camillo Golgi. At the beginning of the 20th century, Negri observed peculiar formations in the brains of infected animals: known as Negri’s bodies, these formations became an important diagnostic tool used in anti-rabies institutes all over the world.*
KEY WORDS: hydrophobia, Negri bodies, Pavia University, rabies.