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Magic Bullet

By the end of the 1800's, doctors knew that infectious diseases were caused by germs. A number of disease-causing bacteria had also been isolated. But treatment remained primitive.
All that the doctors could do was prescribe rest and diet and treat the symptoms. Some medical researchers led by the German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich, began to search for chemicals or drugs that when taken by the patient would destroy the germs that had invaded his body but, leave the body itself unharmed.
Enrlich finally found a 'magic bullet' as he called it a drug that could destroy the bacterium that caused syphilis. The drug was a compound of arsenic and he named it Salvarsan.
Ehrlich thus opened the way for the modern age of chemotherapy the treatment of a disease with chemicals or drugs.
Paul Ehrilich shared the Nobel prize for medicine with llya Mechnikov in 1908, for his work on immunity.


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