Haffkine, Noted Bacteriologist, Discoverer of Virus for Cholera, Dies in Lausanne at Age of 70
Menu JTA Search

Haffkine, Noted Bacteriologist, Discoverer of Virus for Cholera, Dies in Lausanne at Age of 70

Download PDF for this date

Dr. Waldemar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine, noted bacteriologist, whom Lord Lister termed a savior of mankind because of his researches into the causes of cholera, died here suddenly at the age of 70.

Dr. Haffkine, who was born in Odessa, Russia, in 1860, was graduated from the University of Odessa in 1884. Following his graduation he worked in the zoological museum of the university. His researches in the next five years resulted in several papers, published in French and Russian scientific journals, on the infusoria and lower algae.

In 1888 Dr. Haffkine was appointed assistant professor of physiology under Prof. Schiff at the University of Geneva. After 18 months he went to Paris to work under Pasteur. Here he studied typhoid and cholera and discovered the principle and method of inoculation with attenuated virus against cholera. In 1893 Dr. Haffkine went to India to conduct investigations for the Indian government. His operations extended over the whole of Bengal, into the Punjab, the north-west provinces and Assam. In 1896 he was deputed by the Indian government to inquire into the bacteriology of the plague. The Haffkine method of inoculation has been generally adopted throughout India and the government plague research laboratory founded by him issues many thousands of doses to various tropical countries.

Dr. Haffkine’s contributions to biological research included pamphlets and official reports on heredity and monocellular organisms, infectious diseases in connection with infusoria and the results of his study of Asiatic cholera and its etiology.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund