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“Living versus Dead”: The Pasteurian Paradigm and Imperial Vaccine Research

Chakrabarti, Pratik (2010) “Living versus Dead”: The Pasteurian Paradigm and Imperial Vaccine Research. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 84 (3). pp. 387-423. ISSN 0007-5140. (doi:10.1353/bhm.2010.0002) (KAR id:26001)

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The Semple anti-rabies vaccine was developed by David Semple in India in 1911. Semple introduced a peculiarly British approach within the Pasteurian tradition by using carbolised dead virus. The paper studies this unique phase of vaccine research between 1910 and 1935, to show that in the debates and laboratory experiments around the potency and safety of vaccines, categories like ‘living’ and ‘dead’ were often used as ideological and moral denominations. These abstract and ideological debates were crucial in defining the final configuration of the Semple vaccine, the most popular anti-rabies vaccine used globally, and also in shaping international vaccination policies.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/bhm.2010.0002
Projects: ‘Laboratory Medical Research in Colonial India, 1890-1950’
Uncontrolled keywords: Semple, carbolic acid, live vaccine, Pasteur, rage du laboratoire, Kasauli
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Funders: Wellcome Trust (
Depositing User: Pratik Chakrabarti
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2010 13:33 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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  • “Living versus Dead”: The Pasteurian Paradigm and Imperial Vaccine Research. (deposited 30 Oct 2010 13:33) [Currently Displayed]

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Chakrabarti, Pratik.

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