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Entries - Entry Category: Microbiology

Clegg, Moses Tran

Bacteriologist Moses Tran Clegg attracted international attention in 1909 when he reportedly became the first person to grow the leprosy bacillus in a laboratory. It was hoped that this breakthrough would lead to a vaccine to treat leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease, an infectious, disfiguring, and incurable disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. In addition to this achievement, Clegg also did research for the U.S. government on bubonic plague, amoebic dysentery, infantile paralysis, and cholera, and he coauthored scholarly bulletins on such bacteriological subjects as leprosy, amoebas, and parasitic protozoa. Born on September 1, 1876, in Red Bluff (Jefferson County) to Joseph T. Clegg, who was an allopathic doctor, and Ida Daugherty Clegg, Moses Clegg received his primary education …

Pittman, Margaret

Margaret Pittman was known worldwide for her pioneering research into the microbiology and immunology of infectious diseases. Her work in developing a vaccine for whooping cough remains the scientific basis (with later improvements) for protecting the children of Arkansas and the world from this potentially deadly disease. Margaret Pittman was born near Prairie Grove (Washington County) on January 20, 1901, to James Pittman, a country doctor, and Virginia Alice McCormick. In 1909, the family moved to the village of Cincinnati (Washington County), where Margaret and her sister sometimes helped with administering anesthesia and vaccinating patients in their father’s practice. After his early death, Virginia Pittman took her children—Margaret, Mary Helen, and James—to Conway (Faulkner County), where she did dressmaking and …


Ranaviruses are viral pathogens (double-stranded DNA viruses) that infect a broad diversity of at least 175 ectothermic (cold-blooded) vertebrates across the globe; they belong in the genus Ranavirus (RV) of the family Iridoviridae. The genus is composed of six recognized viral species, three of which—tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) virus (ATV), Bohle iridovirus (BIV), and the type species, frog virus 3 (FV3)—are known to infect amphibians. There are four additional genera of viruses within this family, but RV is the only one that includes viruses that are infectious not only to amphibians but also reptiles and wild and cultured teleost fishes. A study in 2016 found no occurrence of ranavirus in Arkansas in turtles of the eastern part of the state …

Snake Fungal Disease

aka: Ophidiomycosis
Snake fungal disease (ophidiomycosis) is an emerging infectious disease of numerous species of snakes caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola within the family Onygenacea. Formerly, Ophidiomyces was classified as the Chrysoporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii species complex (CANV species complex), a group of fungi that are frequently associated with emerging infections in various groups of reptiles. However, recent phylogenetic analyses have demonstrated that CANV represents a species complex that also includes fungi of the genera Nannizziopsis and Paranannizziopsis and that Ophidiomyces is known to occur only on both colubrid and viperid snakes. It was first definitively identified in 2006 in a population of timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) in New Hampshire. However, although identification has not been conclusively proven because cultures …