File:String of silkworm cocoons, used by Louis Pasteur, 1865-1870 Wellcome L0057278.jpg

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String of silkworm cocoons, used by Louis Pasteur, 1865-1870

These silkworm cocoons were used as part of Louis Pasteur’s investigation into the diseases of silkworms at Pont Gisquet, southern France, from 1865-1870. Silkworms were important to the French economy for the production of silk and an epidemic disease had been killing them in vast numbers. After five years of research he discovered that the disease was in fact two separate infections caused by parasites. He advised that all infected silkworms should be isolated and destroyed. Following his advice the disease was eliminated and the French silk industry flourished. The cocoons are shown here with Louis Pasteur’s microscope (A60510).

maker: Unknown maker

Place made: France

Wellcome Images
Keywords: silkworm; Epidemics; Microbiology; epidemic; parasite; cocoon; Parasites

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  • Library reference: Science Museum A63336
  • Photo number: L0057278


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