George D. Heist
(1886–1920) was an immunologist
specializing in the study of infections of meningococcal
bacteria that often result in meningococcal disease
<!-- -->, which is well known as highly lethal and debilitating, and extremely difficult to treat.
During Dr. Heist's seminal study of the properties of a person's blood serum
that protect against this bacterium, he died of meningitis
. It turned out the Heist's own blood lacked the properties that destroy the particular type of meningococcal baceterium that caused his meningitis.
In 1919, Dr Heist and co-workers established that clotted blood from different persons varied in its ability to kill Neisseria meningitidis
in a capillary tube
. When Heist, whose blood
had no bactericidal activity, acquired an N. meningitidis infection
, the link between serum bactericidal activity and resistance to meningococcal infection was proven" (Pollard et al. 2004, p. 1812).
<blockquote>"Dr. George D. Heist of Philadelphia, a scientist
who gave the first description of complement... Read More