Microbial techniques and apparatus had been sufficiently developed by the second half of the 19th century to enable veterinarians to diagnose and study diseases unique to Africa, as well as those diseases carried by imported livestock. The unusual animal diseases encountered in Africa received attention from researchers such as Robert Koch and David Bruce when they worked in South Africa.
When Arnold Theiler arrived in South Africa in 1891 as a young veterinarian, he was disappointed to find that few farmers would employ him, as they were used to treating their own animals. To augment his earnings, he, assisted by his wife, Emma, prepared smallpox vaccine during an outbreak in the mining camp of Johannesburg in 1892. Theiler’s initial interest in preparing effective vaccines laid the basis for the future of veterinary research in South Africa. Read full abstract in the WAHVM 2020 proceedings https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/74425)
Presentation delivered at the 44th International Congress of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine held from the 27-29 of February 2020 at The Farm Inn Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa