Mikrobiol. Z. 2021; 83(2):93-99.
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/microbiolj83.02.093

Contribution of Ukrainian Scientists into the Fight against Plague

V.M. Gamaliia, S.P. Ruda, G.V. Zabuga

Dobrov Institute for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science History Studies, NAS of Ukraine
60 Taras Shevchenko Blvd., Kyiv, 01032, Ukraine

A review about history of the fighting of Ukrainian scientists against one of the most terrible infectious diseases of mankind is proposed. It is noted that plague epidemics have persecuted mankind during many centuries. For a long time, pandemics of the so-called “black death” broke out in different parts of the world. It is shown how a number of measures were organized in Russian Empire against disease spread: the organization of border outposts, the establishment of quarantine hospitals etc. Ways of searching for the sources of the plague by a number of scientists, in particular, graduates of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy, doctors I.A. Poletika, D.S. Samoylovich, K.I. Yagelsky, A.F. Shafonsky are described. The formation of the anti-plague system in Russian Empire is investigated. The activity of the anti-plague laboratory, organized on the initiative of D.K. Zabolotny in 1880 in St. Petersburg, is shown. The contribution of the doctors G.M. Minkh, V.K. Vysokovich and M.F. Gamaliia in revealing the features of the pathogenesis of plague is described. It is noted that only at the beginning of the 20th century laboratories headed by D.K. Zabolotny and I.I. Mechnikov received significant results regarding the distribution of this dangerous infection. It is proved that only the dedicated work of a number of scientists allowed not only to reduce, but also to overcome the sickness rate of plague. It is noted that the first objective confirmation of the fact that the causative agent of the plague can be transmitted from rodents to humans was obtained in 1912. Considerable attention was paid to studies of the plague infection by D.K. Zabolotny during his expeditions to countries where epidemics arose. The role of Ukrainian scientists in establishing the determining factors of the occurrence of plague, as well as the development of methods for preventing this infectious disease, is emphasized.

Keywords: plague, vaccination, epidemiology, anti-plague serum, epizootic, endemicity.

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