Ilya Ilich Metchnikov and Paul Ehrlich: 1908 Nobel Prize Winners for their Research on Immunity.

Authors: Lokaj J.. 1;  C. John 2
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav klinické imunologie a alergologie LF MU, Brno 1;  Ústav imunologie a mikrobiologie 1. LF UK, Praha 2
Published in: Epidemiol. Mikrobiol. Imunol. 57, 2008, č. 4, s. 119-124


The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1908 was awarded to Ilya I. Mechnikov and Paul Ehrlich for recognition of their work on immunity. Mechnikov have discovered phagocytes and phagocytosis as the basis of natural cellular immunity. His „phagocytic theory“ is the principle of immunological concept „self and not self“ as the prerequisition of physiological inflammation, and selfmaintaining of organism. Ehrlich developed the methods for standardization of antibody activity in immune sera, described neutralizing and complement-depending effect of antibodies and enunciated the „side-chain“ theory of the formation of antibodies. Their concept of the key-stone of immunity was different, but they expressed the basic paradigma of immunology: immunity imply the protection of identity and guarantee the integrity of organism. Both are the founders of immunology as the scientific discipline. Discoveries and conceptions of I. Mechnikov and P. Ehrlich exceedingly influenced development of immunology and are also applicable, instructive and suggestive in contemporary immunology and microbiology.


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Hygiene and epidemiology Medical virology Clinical microbiology
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