|To: Professor of Virology, University
of Connecticutt U.S.A.,
Mr. Stauros Kottaridis Ph.D.
Maximou Str. 9-11
145 62 Kifissia, Athens, Greece
Dear Mr. Kottaridis,
In your excellent article "Immunotherapy. Past, present, future"
in the journal of Hellenic Anticancer Society " «ÏãêïëïãéêÞ
ÅíçìÝñùóç» "Information in Oncology", vol. 7 (1), 2005,
pp.16-20, Dr. Edward Jenner, (1749-1823), is mentioned as the introducer
of vaccination as a practice in preventive medicine: "In 1796
Jenner discovered that contamination by the virus cowpox develops
immunity to contamination by virus of smallpox".
I would like to inform you that the first scientific application
of the vaccination as a preventive method for diseases was applied
by the Greek Physicians Emmanuel Timonis (1669-1720) from Chios
island and Jacob Pylarinos (1659-1718) from Kefallonia island, who
had studied medicine at the Universities of Italy. The results of
their scientific application of the vaccination were published in
the English well known journal "PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS",
vol. 29, 1714-1716, pg. 72-82, titled "An account or History
of the Procuring the SMALL POX by Incision or Inoculation; as it
has for some time been practiced at Constantinople. Being the Extract
of a Letter from Emanuel Timonius, Oxon. & Patav. M.D.SR.S.
dated at Constantinople, December, 1713. Communicated to the Royal
Society by John Woodward, M.D. Profes. Md. Gresh. And S.R.S"
and pg. 393-399 titled "Nova et tuta Variolas excitandi per
Transolantationem Methodus, nuper inventa et in usum tracta: Per
Jacobum Pylarinum, Venetum M.D. et Peripublicae Venetae apud Smyrnenses
After its publication in the journal "Philosophical Transactions"
and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's contribution of diffusion of the
vaccination against smallpox, whose children had been vaccinated
by Dr. Timonis in Constantinople, that method of vaccination was
applied in Europe with good results. Especially Anastasios Georgiadis,
professor later at the University of Athens (1837) in his book "Antipanakia",
Vienna 1810, p. 46, states that after the application of the vaccination,
Timonis and Pylarinus' method, smallpox's mortality, dropped to
0.3-0.5 %. Refer to Dr. Dem. Karaberopoulos, The medical European
knowledge in the Greek region 1745-1821, Library on the History
of Medicine, no 1, Publishing House Ath. Stamoulis, Athens 2003,
In the significant French Encyclopedie of Diderot and D' Alambert,
which started publishing in 1751, under the entry "inoculation"
( vol. 8, p. 755 and on) both Timonis and Pylarinos are mentioned.
Also Adamantios Corais in the French edition William Black's History
of Medicine (Esquisse d'un Histoire de la Medicine..., Paris 1798,
pp. 361 and on) considers them as the introducers of inoculation,
as also, they are mentioned in the book of J.M. Moreau, Traite Historique
et Pratique de la Vaccine, Paris 1801, p.102.
In addition it is further mentioned, in the book of Leslie T.
Morton and Robert J. Moore, A Chronology of Medicine and Related
Sciences, Ashgate, reprinted in 1998, pg. 67 and 68 characteristically
emphasized: "1714. Inoculation against smallpox, as practised
in Constantinople, described by Emanuele Timoni" and "1715.
Giacomo Pylarino, 1659-1718, is accredited with the "medical"
discovery of variolation, in his Nova et tuta variolas excitandi
per tranplantionem methodus he described its practise in Constantinople".
Also in the book of Jeremy M. Norman (ed.), Morton's Medical Bibliography,
fifth edition, Scolar Press, England, 1991, p. 838, stressed that
Pylarinos is thought as the first immunologist: "He is accredited
with the "medical" discovery of variolation and thus is
the first immunologist".
It is further added that in the Proceedings of Athens Academy,
vol. 27, 1952, pg. 287-307, Pylarinos’ work of 1715 was published
in Latin with parallel translation in Greek by K. N. Alivizatos
and G.K. Pournaropoulos.
It is pointed out that Timonis and Pylarinos' method of vaccination
(variolation) of 1714 for smallpox’s protection after a few decades,
in 1798, was modified by Dr. Edward Jenner. He took the liquid for
vaccination of children not from smallpox infected men's vesicle,
as the introducers of vaccination Timonis and Pylarinos applied,
but from cow-pox’s vesicles and his method had better results.
However the first scientific application of the vaccination as
a protection method against diseases belongs to the Greek physicians
Emanuel Timonis and Jacob Pylarinos, who is considered as the first
immunologist. In addition their studies are the only Greek research
contribution in medicine, which took place in the Greek area, after
that of the famous ancient Greek doctors.
Having provided you with the above references I strongly feel
that the Greek doctors Timonis and Pylarinos should be mentioned
as the introducers of the scientific practice of vaccination for
the protection from infectious diseases.
Dr. Dem. Karaberopoulos
President of the Hellenic Society
on the History of Pediatrics