Franz Tappeiner (1816-1902) was an Austrian scientist: physician and anthropologist. He studied medicine at the universities of Prague and Padua, and completed his medical education receiving his doctorate in 1843 in Vienna. Tappeiner investigated the transmission of pulmonary tuberculosis in animal models and he dealt with public health, in particular Merano’s welfare and public health regulations. In 1877, in the Anatomical and Pathological Institute of Munich led by the German pathologist Ludwig von Buhl (1816-1880), Tappeiner studied the transmission of pulmonary tuberculosis in animal models, by exposing dogs to sputum of phthisic patients affected by this disease. He was able to show that phthisis and tuberculosis were the same disease, which could be spread through inhalation. These studies were pioneering and preceded by 10 years the discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus by Robert Koch (1843-1910) in 1882. The research activities of Tappeiner were focal in tracking the future path for Koch’s discovery and represent milestones in the history of tuberculosis.
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