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Arnold Theiler

Sir Arnold Theiler (March 26, 1867 – July 24, 1936) the father of veterinary science in South Africa. Born in Frick, Canton Argau, Switzerland. He received his higher education, and later qualified as a veterinarian in Zurich. In 1891 Theiler travelled to South Africa and at first found employment as a farm worker on Irene Estates near Pretoria, owned by Nellmapius, but later that year started practising as a vet.

His success at producing a vaccine to combat an outbreak of smallpox among the miners of the Witwatersrand, brought him an appointment as state veterinarian for the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, in which capacity he served during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. During this period his research team developed a vaccine against rinderpest, a malignant and contagious disease of cattle. His tremendous energy, pioneering spirit and professional integrity brought him international recognition.

Theiler was the first Director of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute outside Pretoria. This institute under his leadership carried out research on African horse sickness, sleeping sickness, malaria, East Coast fever (Theileria parva) and tick-borne diseases such as redwater, heartwater and biliary. A Faculty of Veterinary Science was established here in 1920 which enabled vets to train locally for the first time. Theiler became the first dean of this faculty.

He married Emma Sophie Jegge (1861-1951) and had two sons and two daughters. Hans (1894-1947) a veterinarian, Margaret (1896-1988), a teacher. Two of the children worked at Onderstepoort - Gertrude (1897-1986) and Max Theiler, a Nobel laureate in 1951 in Physiology and Medicine.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arnold_Theiler". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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