February 23, 2008



Brazilian physician, pathologist and infectologist.

In 1902, Rocha Lima, Adolfo Lutz, Carlos Chagas and other researchers in the area of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases joined Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1941) in the establishment of the Instituto Serotherapico Federal, known as the Instituto Manguinhos, in Rio de Janeiro. In 1908 this institute was renamed Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.

Rocha Lima went to Germany in 1906. In Hamburg, he worked with Stanislaus von Prowazek (1875-1915) and together they described Rickettsia prowazeki.

In 1916, Rocha Lima grouped the microorganisms in the order Rickettsiales and named them “Rickettsia” in honor of the American bacteriologist and pathologist Howard Tayler Ricketts (1871-1910). He named the agent of typhus “Rickettsia prowazeki” after Ricketts and his old friend von Prowazek.

He later described the causative agent of Trench fever.

In Brazil, Rocha Lima participated in the foundation of the Paulista School of Medicine, and of the University of São Paulo.


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