Alexandre Yersin Biography
(Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis)
Birthday: September 22, 1863 (Virgo)
Born In: Aubonne, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Alexandre Émile John Yersin, popularly known as Alexandre Yersin was a Franco-Swiss bacteriologist. He is best remembered for discovering the bubonic plague bacillus, ‘Pasteurellapestis’, which is now known as ‘Yersinia pestis’. With his persistent effort, he helped to eradicate an epidemic disease like the plague that claimed lives of millions of people over the century. A nature lover and bright student since childhood, he spent most of his life in France and French Indochina, researching the bubonic plague. Together with fellow bacteriologist Émile Roux, Albert Calmette and Amédée Borrel, he prepared the first ever anti-plague serum to combat the disease. Later on, based on his research in this field, further investigation was directed towards antiserum treatment, use of antibiotics, and the deterrence of infection through the improvement of vaccines. These measures eventually led to the complete eradication of plague. The technique he used to make the discovery is relevant even to this day and is often used by scientists whenever they are confronted with a new contagious disease. In the last few years, a similar approach has been adapted to study the treatment and cure of diseases like AIDS, SARS, Chikungunya, and more recently, the Ebola virus.