Adelchi Negri and the Diagnosis of Rabies

Maria Carla Garbarino


Rabies is a very ancient disease, transmitted to humans by animals. Through the centuries rabies always aroused fear in the popular imagination and a great interest in the field of medical studies. The description of the  terrible symptoms of disease and the research of various criteria in the assessment of the infection in animals has given rise to a rich literature. At the beginning of the twentieth century in the general pathology laboratory of the University of Pavia directed by Camillo Golgi, Adelchi Negri, a young researcher, observed peculiar formations inside nerve cells in the brain of infected animals. These corpuscles soon began to be called Negri bodies. The search for the Negri bodies spread as a diagnostic method in all institutions of research about rabies. The article also outlines a brief biographical sketch of this brilliant and unfortunate scientist.

Key words: Rabies - Hydrophobia - Negri bodies - Pavia University

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