Editorial 3. Kock’s postulates and Antigenopoeia
Pharmacopoeia can be described as a book which lists medicinal substances, alone or mixed with others, and its method of preparation. So every single country or group of countries name pharmacopoeia to some texts published for the preparation, experimentation and prescription of medicines.
If we look for the etymological root we will find that we can translate literally Pharmacopoeia as “elaborating medicines” and medicine (from Greek φάρμακον) is any purified chemical substance which can be used for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a disease. Therefore Pharmacopoeias are books which talk about the elaboration of pharmacologic specialties from purified Chemicals substances and that excludes biologic substances used in diagnostic and prevention of infectious and parasitic diseases.
A part from this reasoning, which returns its right meaning to the word pharmacopoeia, exists a second reasoning to separate the vaccines and reactants for the diagnostic of infectious diseases from Pharmacopoeia: Robert Kock applied some postulates to establish the etiology of tuberculosis and by extension are used to establish the agents which cause infection diseases (bacterial, viral and mycoplasmatic) and parasitic diseases.
These postulates can be summarised as follows:
1. The agent must be isolated in pure culture from animal or ill person injuries.
2. The agent must provoke the illness in a healthy animal after its inoculation.
3. The same agent must be isolated again due to the injuries caused to the second agent.
That means biologic substances are susceptible for using in elaboration of a reactive diagnostic or a vaccine are radically different from a medicine as they are biological substances (not purified chemical substances) and are being selected for the accomplishment of the Kock’s postulates (not applicable to medicines).
Consequently if the substances are different, texts also should be different. These biological substances are called antigens or immunogens. The word “antigen” comes from the fusion between these 2 Greek terms: “Anti” means opposite or with opposite properties and “Geno” means generate or produce. Therefore Antigen means capable of producing opposition.
Consequently the text which describes the use of antigens to produce vaccines could be called Antigenopoeia or veterinary Inmunopoeia.
From Veterinaria Digital we propose the creation of this text (Antigenopoeia) independently of Pharmacopoeia.