Brumpt, Émile

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Brumpt, Émile

(b. Paris, France, 7 March 1877; d. Paris, 7 July 1951)


Brumpt began his career as préparateur at the Paris Faculté des Sciences in 1895 and became an assistant professor at the Faculté de Médecine in 1906. In that year he received his doctorate and in 1907 passed the agrégation. In 1919 he followed Raphael Blanchard as full professor in the chair of parasitology and was elected a member of the Académie de Médecine.

His rapid rise and brilliant career are explained by his works and his scientific authority. Brumpt, both a zoologist and a physician, was the originator of medical parasitology in France. He was led to this by experimental research and his numerous trips and sojourns in tropical lands. In 1901, as a second-year student, he made a two-year journey across Africa, from Abyssinia to the Congo, with the Bourg de Bozas mission. He later returned to Africa and also visited South America (especially Brazil) and the Far East.

Brumpt was a remarkable teacher and a most talented experimenter. He was the first to demonstrate, in 1904, the existence of a developmental phase in leeches of the trypanosomes of batrachians and fish. This cycle was noted again in 1911 in the tsetse carriers of T. gambiense, the agent causing sleeping sickness. In 1912, in Brazil, Brumpt described the life history of Trypanosoma cruzi—the agent of Chagas’ disease—in Triatoma, a blood-sucking hemipteran. Chagas thought that trypanosoma developed in the general cavity and in the salivary glands of the bug and that infection was conveyed through biting. Brumpt in 1912 described the entire cycle and showed that the disease was transmitted through the feces, which infected the bite wound.

Brumpt studied all groups of parasites with his habitual thoroughness: the trypanosomes in Africa and South America, the Piroplasma canis and bigemina, the filariae, the Bilharzia, as well as the biology of the active and passive vectors of those parasites. His publications on mycology are important. He also studied recurrent fevers and exanthematic typhus. It was at this time, in 1933, that he contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever and nearly died. In 1935 he brought back from Ceylon a strain of Plasmodium gallinaceum, the use of which has been of invaluable help in the chemotherapy of human malaria.

In 1923 Brumpt proved that the cysts of amoebas found in numerous individuals really belong to a nonpathogenic species that differs genetically from the dysenteric amoeba. In the same year, he founded the Annales de parasitologie humaine et comparée. He died just after completing the sixth edition of his Précis de parasitologie. He trained many students who continue the parasitological tradition that he began.


Among Brumpt’s 376 publications, the principal ones are his doctoral thesis in science, “Réproduction des hirudinées,” in Mémoires de la Société zoologique de France, 33 (1901); Mission de Bourg de Bozas. De la Mer Rouge à l’Atlantique à travers l’Afrique tropicale (Paris, 1903); “Maladie du sommeil expérimentale chez les singes d’Asie et d’Afrique,” in Comptes rendus de la Société de biologie, 56 (1904), 569; “Expériences relatives au mode de transmission des trypanosomes par les hirudinées,” ibid., 61 (1906), 77; Les mycétomes, his M.D. thesis (Paris, 1906); “Évolution de Trypanosoma cruzi chez Conorhinus megistus, Cimex lectularius et Ornithodorus moubata,” in Bulletin de la Société de pathologie exotique, 6 (1913), 752–758; “Le xénodiagnostic,” ibid., 7 (1914), 706–710; “Les piroplasmes des bovidés et leurs hôtes vecteurs’, ibid., 13 (1920), 416–460; “Recherches sur la bilharziose au Maroc,” ibid., 15 (1922), 632–641; “Les anophéles de Corse,” in Bulletin de l’Académie de médecine, 93 (1925), “Réalisation expérimentale du cycle complet de Schistosoma haematobium,” in Annales de parasitologie humaine et comparée, 6 (1928), 440–446; “La ponte des schistosomes’, ibid., 8 (1930), 263–292; “Transmission de la fiévre exanthématique de Marseille par Rhipicephalus sanguineus,” in Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences (1930), 1028; “épreuve de l’immunité croisée dans les fiévres exanthématiques,” in Comptes rendus de la Société de biologie, 90 (1932), 1197;“Sensibilité du spermophile au Kala Azar chinois,” ibid., (1935), 21–23; “La tularémie et ses hôtes vecteurs,” in Meditsinskaya parazitologia i parazitarnye bolezni (1935), 23–28; “Une nouvelle fiévre récurrente humaine découverte à Babylone (Iraq),” in Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences (1939), 2029; “étude épidémiologique de la fiévrerécurrente des hauts plateaux mexicains,” in Annales de parasitologie humaine et comparée, 17 (1939), 275–286; “Filarioses et éléphantiasis,” in Annales de la Société belge de médecine tropicle (1947), 103; and Précis de parasitologie, 6th ed. (Paris, 1949).

Henri Galliard

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Brumpt, Émile

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