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Charles Mantoux

Born 1877
Died 1947

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French physician, born May 14, 1877, Paris; died 1947.

Biography of Charles Mantoux

Charles Mantoux attended the University of Paris, a student of Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) – one of the founders of modern brain surgery – and the well-known pathologist and paediatrician Victor-Henri Hutinel (1849-1933). For reasons of health Mantoux chose to settle in Cannes, working in a tuberculosis sanatorium. Because long vacation periods enjoyed by employees of the sanatoriums, he was able to continue to work in Paris.

In 1908 Mantoux presented his first work on intradermal reactions to the French Academy of Sciences and published an article on this in 1910. He showed that his intradermal reaction test was more sensitive than the older Pirquet subcutaneous tests using tuberculin, and the Mantoux-test completely superseded the Pirquet method in all countries - except for Norway. The Mantoux' test, however, was invented by Felix Mendel, and is therefore entered here as Mendel-Mantoux.

Mantoux undertook a long series of other research work on tuberculosis. He developed a test for screening cattle for tuberculosis and applied this to pigs and horses. This was of great practical benefit with regards to public health, and he developed the test in the guinea pig for experimental studies of the rate of development of the allergic reaction.

Mantoux also undertook radiological studies of tuberculosis and wrote extensively on pleural effusion, and on the fever of tuberculosis. He was one of the earliest clinicians to employ artificial pneumothorax and study its effects on lung cavities. All of this work was done away from major universities and institutions.

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