Edward Jenner (1749-1823)


Jenner, an English physician, observed that milkmaids who had contracted cowpox were not susceptible to smallpox. He experimented by injecting cowpox-infected fluids into a local boy. After inoculation, the boy was found to be immune to smallpox. Jenner continued his experiments, eventually publishing the results of his case studies in the present work in 1798. By 1803, this work had been translated into numerous languages (this Latin edition was translated from the author’s An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae), an indication that it had been widely accepted and his method of immunization almost universally adopted. It is the foundation of all subsequent work in immunology and virology.

Shown are reproductions of two of the plates in this edition.


Edward Jenner. Disquisitio de caussis et effectibus variolarum vaccinarum. Vindobonae, Apud Camesina, 1799.