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Biographical entry Danysz, Jean (1860 - 1928)



Jean Danysz spent much of his working life at the Institut Pasteur in France and isolated a 'new' strain of Pasteurella which was thought to selectively kill off feral rabbits. He arrived in Australia in 1906 on the invitation of the Council of the Pastures Protection Board to set up trials of his biological agent. Danysz and his workers were given a sizeable area on Broughton Island (off the New South Wales coast) to carry out their experiments. After many successful preliminary trials, Jean Danysz left Australia in May 1907. The Australian scientist Dr Tidswell and Danysz's assistant A. Latapie continued with the trials. The strain was eventually found to be identical to one already isolated in Australia and although the 'virus' did not appear to harm any animals other than rabbits it was not an effective method of culling the feral rabbit population. Danysz also brought with him two cultures of Ratin and Azoa which were said to kill rats during the bubonic plague. Both were also tested in Australia for their efficacy, but proved to be of little use.



1893 -
Career position - Microbiologist at the Institut Pasteur in France
Life event - Arrived in Australia on the Magnolia
Life event - Returned to France

Archival resources

Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Paszkowski, Lech, 'Dr January Danysz and the rabbitrs of Australia', Australian Zoologist, 15 (2) (1969), 109-20. Details
  • Rountree, P. M, 'Jean Danysz - a Forgotten Visitor to Australia', Australian Microbiologist, 9 (1988), 35-42. Details


Rosanne Walker