by Amory Devereux and Rosemary Frei
About 150 years ago, scientists painstakingly constructed a set of principles that can prove whether a particular microbe is the cause of a specific disease or is just a bystander. Those three principles are known as the Koch postulates.
From all the available information, the novel coronavirus doesn’t appear to meet any of these tenets, never mind all three.
Like most human endeavours, the Koch postulates were the product of collaboration. First, Jakob Henle developed the underlying concepts, and then Robert Koch and Friedrich Loeffler spent decades refining them until they were published in 1890. The resulting three postulates are:
- The pathogen occurs in every case of the disease in question and under circumstances that can account for the pathological changes and clinical course of the disease.
- The causative microorganism occurs in no other disease as a fortuitous and nonpathogenic parasite.
- After being fully isolated from the body and grown in tissue culture (or cloned), it can induce the disease anew.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.