The origins and shaping of modern anti-infective therapy
Marcus M. Reidenberg
The germ theory of disease was initiated in the 19th century by Louis Pasteur. Lord Lister promoted the idea of antisepsis while Semmelweis focused on hand washing identifying the spread of infection by objects (in this case contaminated hands) moving from infected patient to uninfected ones. This gave the conceptual basis for infectious disease and its management and set the stage for development of modern anti-infective therapy, one of the major medical advances of the 20th century.