Albert Ludwig Neisser (1855-1916), who was born in Silesia of German-Jewish parents, shared his later schooldays with Paul Ehrlich, becoming life-long friends. He obtained his MD from the University of Erlangen in 1877, after which he specialised in dermatology, becoming Professor at Breslau/Wroclaw in 1882. By then Neisser had published his major bacteriological discovery, of 1879, on the causative microbe of gonorrhoea - the "gonococcus" or "Diplokokken Neisser", subsequently named Neisseria gonorrhoea in his honor.

Neisser's courage and determination in studying the links between skin diseases and sexually-transmitted diseases led him into controversy over the complex Prostituiertenproblem of contemporary society and its mores. He had also been involved in a difficulty over acknowledgements with the Norwegian bacteriologist Hansen and that worker's samples of materials and specimens related to leprosy.

Neisser strongly supported his friend Ehrlich in the latter's struggles to assert his radical and controversial ideas of chemotherapy and immunology whilst working outside of the powerful academic departments of the period.

Brief Bibliography of Neisser’s publications

Die Echinococcen-Krankheit [The Tapeworm Illness]. Berlin: Hirschwald, 1877.

Ueber eine der Gonorrhoe eigentumliche Micrococcusform [On a Curious Form of Micrococcus in Gonorrhoea]. Berlin: Hirschwald, 1879.

"Dermatologie der Prostituiertenproblem", Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrifte, 16 (1890): 834-37.

Rapport. Conference Internationale pour la Prophylaxie de la Syphilis et des maladies veneriennes. Bruxelles: Hayez, 1902.

Die experimentelle Syphilisforschung nach ihrem gegenwartigen Stande [Experimental Syphilis Research from the Current Standpoint]. 1906.

With Eduard Jacobi. Ikonographia Dermatologica, Band-I. pp. 223. Berlin: Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1910. (Text in German-French-English).

Beitrage zur Pathologie und Therapie der Syphilis [Contribution to the Pathology and Therapy of Syphilis]. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1911.

On Modern Syphilotherapy with Particular Reference to Salvarsan, 1945. (1911). English trans. by Isabelle von Sazenhofen Wartenberg. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. From Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 469-510.


Last modified 9 December 2016