Ehrlich’s quest to find the magic bullet.

June 1, 2020 4:39 pm

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In 1900 at the start of the twentieth century it was felt that medicine was finally beginning to turn a corner. Bacteria and harmful microbes were now universally accepted as being the cause of illness and disease rather than bad smells or too much blood in the system as advanced by the four humours. Doctor Paul Ehrlichs was one of the most prominent exponents of the microbe as a cause. He was fully aware that whilst the available antiseptics  could clean a surface it could not treat the body itself. He theorised that there was a way for a cure to hit the microbes directly without causing harm to the rest of the body. He termed this a magic bullet and he set about finding one for what was a terrible scourge of the day, Syphilis.


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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease. In those days the Victorians and Edwardians did not have the chance to check themselves for it. In our modern times we can rely on Chlamydia Testing Kits London (like those from https://www.checkurself.org.uk/order-a-test-kit/),  Brighton, Cardiff or Edinburgh, to help us combat it’s spread.

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Ehrilch succeeds with finding a magic bullet for syphilis with his development of the drug known as Salvarsan. This was a safe compound based on arsenic. Considering that the original cure was two to four years of Mercury injections this was a miracle.