Pasteur in Australia A Bright Sparcs Exhibition

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It was a year before Loir returned to Australia after the somewhat frustrating ending of the rabbit venture. In June 1890, he reoccupied the Rodd Island quarters.

Newspaper Cover


'Experiments are now in progress at Tenterfield
by Dr Loir of Pasteur's Institute, with respect to
the inoculation of cattle for blackleg'
- Daily Paper

DR LOIR: 'I am afraid zees vill not take. You have,
I tink, been already innoculated viz ze Blackleg
Vaccine. But ze, vot you call Labor Members,
zey are splendid subjects.'

Loir's main task consisted of the preparation of Anthrax Vaccine, using cultures he had brought with him from Paris. Arthur Devlin became the official vaccinator for New South Wales and, with the aid of his sons (including Leslie Devlin) vaccinated 3,000,000 sheep and 50,000 cattle during the following eight years. Loir also devised a vaccine for another cattle plague in Australia: pleuropneumonia.

Around 1891, Loir wrote a booklet about the Anthrax Vaccine, which included scientific data, information on how to administer the vaccine, and how it could be purchased. He wrote: 'The vaccine used now in Australia is the same used for about ten years in France, and in every country where a Pasteur Institute exists, and is originated in the Paris Pasteur Institute.'[1]

Loir travelled to France for a visit in 1892 and returned with a vaccine against Black Leg. His thesis, 'La Microbiologie en Australie', was the first account of diseases of animals in Australia to appear in Europe, and was published towards the end of 1892.

In 1893, after turning down an offer from the Queensland Government to become the director of an animal disease research laboratory, Loir returned to Europe. Dr Germont then became head of the Australian Pasteur Mission and engaged John McGarvie Smith, a Bacteriologist and Metallurgist, as his assistant.

In 1894, Dr Rougier succeeded Dr Germont, and the Pasteur Institute was moved to premises in Double Bay. The laboratory and animal houses on Rodd Island were destroyed, but the living quarters still remain. The interests of the Pasteur Institute in Australian were eventually disposed of in 1898.


[1] Loir, Adrien, Pasteur's Vaccine of Anthrax in Australia: as a preventative against Cumberland Disease in sheep, cattle and horses, published c.1891, Sydney, held in National Library of Australia, Canberra, p. 10.

Picture Reference
Cartoon from The Illustrated Sydney News, 15 October 1892, in Chaussivert, Jean, & Blackman, Maurice (eds), Louis Pasteur and the Pasteur Institute in Australia, The French-Australian Research Centre, Occasional Monograph No. 1, NSW University Press, Kensington, 1988, p. 28.

Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 5 December 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (
Prepared by: Guillaume Mallet and Denise Sutherland
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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