Biography:Friedrich Loeffler

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Short description: German bacteriologist (1852–1915)
Friedrich August Johannes Loeffler
Friedrich Loeffler 3.jpg
Friedrich August Johannes Loeffler
Born24 June 1852
Frankfurt (Oder)
Died9 April 1915 (aged 62)
Alma materUniversity of Würzburg
University of Berlin
Known forCorynebacterium diphtheriae
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Greifswald
Friedrich Loeffler Institute

Friedrich August Johannes Loeffler (German: [ˈlœflɐ]; 24 June 1852 – 9 April 1915) was a German bacteriologist at the University of Greifswald.


He obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Berlin in 1874. He worked with Robert Koch from 1879 to 1884[1] as an assistant in the Imperial Health Office in Berlin. In 1884, he became staff physician at the Friedrich Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, and four years later became professor at the University of Greifswald.[2]

His development of original methods of staining rendered an important and lasting service to bacteriology.[2] Early in his career, he began a study of parasitic diseases.[3] Among his discoveries was the organism causing diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) and the cause of foot-and-mouth disease (Aphthovirus). His description of the diphtheria bacillus, published in 1884, was the originating cause of an antitoxin treatment.[3] He also created Löffler's serum, a coagulated blood serum used for the detection of the bacteria. In 1887, he founded the Centralblatt für Bakteriologie und Parasitenkunde.[2][4]

The Friedrich Loeffler Institute on the Isle of Riems near Greifswald, as well as the Friedrich Loeffler Institute of Medical Microbiology at the Greifswald Medical School of the University of Greifswald, have been named in his honor.

Selected publications

  • with Robert Koch and Georg Theodor August Gaffky: Ueber die Verwerthbarkeit heißer Wasserdämpfe zu Desinfectionszwecken. (On the effectiveness of hot water vapors for purposes of disinfection) In: Mitteilungen aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte. 1, 1881, pp. 322–340.
  • Vorlesungen über die geschichtliche Entwicklung der Lehre von den Bakterien. (Lectures on the historical development of the theory of bacteria) Leipzig 1887.
  • with Paul Frosch: Summarische Bericht über die Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen der Kommission zur Erforschung der Maul- und Klauenseuche bei dem Institut für Infektionskrankheiten in Berlin. (Summary report on the results of the investigations by the Commisssion for Research into Foot and Mouth Disease at the Institute for Infectious Diseases in Berlin) In: Centralblatt für Bakteriologie und Parasitenkunde. volume 22, 1897, pp. 257–259 (part 1), and volume 23, 1898, pp. 371–391 (part 2).
  • Zur Immunitätsfrage. (On the question of immunity) In: Mitteilungen aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte. 1, 1882, pp. 134–187.
  • Untersuchungen über die Bedeutung der Mikroorganismen für die Entstehung der Diphtherie beim Menschen, bei der Taube und beim Kalbe. (Investigations into the importance of microorganisms for the development of diphtheria in humans, pigeons and calves) In: Mitteilungen aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte. 2, 1884, pp. 421–499.


  1. Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 2nd Revised edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed (1920). "Loeffler, Friedrich". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1922). "Löffler, Friedrich". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York. 
  4. Centralblatt für Bakteriologie und Parasitenkunde. Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer. 1887. 


  • Bochalli R (January 1959). "Friedrich Loeffler, his life & works; on the occasion of 75th return of the anniversary of the discovery of the diphtheria bacillus.". Medizinische Monatsschrift 13 (1): 59–62. PMID 13632391. 
  • Howard DH (July 1963). "Friedrich LOEFFLER and the Thessalian field mouse plague of 1892.". Jornal de historia da medicina 18 (3): 272–81. doi:10.1093/jhmas/xviii.3.272. PMID 13955107. 
  • Kaiser G (1965). "Friedrich Loeffler zum 80. Geburtstag". Archiv für orthopädische und Unfall-Chirurgie 58 (2): 85–7. doi:10.1007/BF00416118. PMID 5327173. 
  • Matiner HR (1967). "Nachruf für Friedrich Loeffler". Archiv für orthopädische und Unfall-Chirurgie 62 (4): 269–72. doi:10.1007/BF00416209. PMID 4875506. 
  • Blencke B (August 1967). "In memory of Professor Friedrich Loeffler". Zeitschrift für Orthopädie und ihre Grenzgebiete 103 (3): 273–6. PMID 4233465. 
  • "Friedrich Loeffler (1852–1915). Klebs-Loeffler bacillus". JAMA 210 (6): 1096–7. 10 November 1969. doi:10.1001/jama.210.6.1096. PMID 4898725. 
  • Hauck P (1978). "Opening address of the scientific festive colloquium commemorating the 125th birthday of Friedrich Loeffler on June 21st and 22d, 1977 in Greifswald". Archiv für experimentelle Veterinärmedizin 32 (3): 311–2. PMID 29591. 
  • "The work of Friedrich Loeffler in Greifswald". Archiv für experimentelle Veterinärmedizin 32 (3): 313–8. 1978. PMID 358941. 
  • "30 years of the East Germany Orthopedic Society—in memory of its co-founder and 1st chairman Friedrich Loeffler". Beiträge zur Orthopädie und Traumatologie 30 (5): 233–6. May 1983. PMID 6349609. 
  • Beer J (September 1985). "Friedrich Loeffler as a founder of virology". Archiv für experimentelle Veterinärmedizin 39 (5): 623–30. PMID 3907574. 
  • "Friedrich Loeffler (1852–1915)--his contributions to bacteriology and virology. In memory of the 75th anniversary of his death". Zeitschrift für ärztliche Fortbildung 84 (8): 400–6. 1990. PMID 2198709. 
  • "Friedrich Loeffler's way to the Isle of Riems near Greifswald". Historia medicinae veterinariae 27 (1–4): 217–30. 2002. PMID 12506922. 

External links