“At first I scratched my head.” Currently, only Oregon has an official state microbe, Thompson was convinced to sponsor the legislation after learning about the significance that the microbe played in developing an antibiotic to attack one of the deadliest diseases in history: tuberculosis.
At the time, tuberculosis was the second leading cause of death in the United States.
The microbe, Streptomyces Griseus, was used by Rutgers University researchers to create an antibiotic that effectively treated tuberculosis.
Thompson wants to renew public awareness about the germ and the role New Jersey played in combating one of the deadliest diseases in history. ” wondered Thompson, a retired research scientist whose 12th district includes parts of Burlington, Ocean and Monmouth Counties.
Penicillin, the only other antibiotic available at that time, had no effect in the treatment of tuberculosis.
In 1943, researchers from Rutgers University, led by Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz used the microbe to create streptomycin, the world’s first antibiotic for tuberculosis.
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