Throat swab used to diagnose diphtheria
Throat swab, cotton wool on metal rod, in glass tube, in wooden case, supplied by Kent County Council, early 20th century, for diphtheria diagnosis
Diphtheria is a potentially deadly contagious infection which especially affects children. In 1883, German bacteriologist Edwin Klebs (1834–1913) discovered the bacterium which causes diphtheria. This was then isolated the following year by fellow researcher Friedrich Loeffler (1852–1915), which meant that the presence of bacteria could be tested for and used to diagnose infection.
This is a throat swab supplied by Kent County Council who would have supplied them to clinics and doctors’ surgeries to help monitor and check the spread of the disease. The swab is pictured here alongside the glass tube that would have protected the sample, and the wooden case.
- Clinical Diagnosis
- Object Number:
- throat swab
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- Loan, Wellcome Trust
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