germ theory noun
: a theory in medicine: infections, contagious diseases, and various other conditions result from the action of microorganisms
First Known Use of GERM THEORY
germ theory noun (Medical Dictionary)
: a theory in medicine: infections, contagious diseases, and various other conditions (as suppurative lesions) result from the action of microorganisms
germ theory noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Theory that certain diseases are caused by invasion of the body by microorganisms. Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister, and Robert Koch are given much of the credit for its acceptance in the later 19th century. Pasteur showed that organisms in the air cause fermentation and spoil food; Lister was first to use an antiseptic to exclude germs in the air to prevent infection; and Koch first linked a specific organism with a disease (anthrax). The full implications of germ theory for medical practice were not immediately apparent after it was proven; surgeons operated without masks or head coverings as late as the 1890s.
Learn More About GERM THEORY
Seen & Heard
What made you want to look up germ theory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).