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Going further through history

Meet the hygiene pioneers that paved the way for Mission: Infection Prevention.

The faces and heritage of Mission: Infection Prevention

Map of Europe showing each country’s leading hygiene pioneer

Just as there’s a human being behind every registered infection, there’s an individual behind every advancement of life-saving hygiene measures. Meet Europe’s leading hygiene pioneers as well as our very own at HARTMANN.

Ignaz Semmelweis

Portrait of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis

In 1846, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis revolutionized the medical approach to hygiene when the obstetrician and physician ordered his team to wash their hands in a chlorinated lime solution to prevent death due to childbirth. This intervention created significant improvements in the health of mothers and babies.

Max von Pettenkofer

Portrait of Max von Pettenkofer

Chemist and hygienist Max von Pettenkofer was the first person to confirm the linkage between hygiene and the spread of epidemics in the 19th century. He earned the title of first-ever professor of hygiene at the University of Munich and his findings later informed the development of European sewage and drinking water systems.

Robert Koch

Portrait of Dr. Robert Koch

As people couldn’t see germs, they didn’t believe they could make us sick. Then, in the late 1800s, the physician and microbiologist Dr. Robert Koch proved the connection between microorganisms and infectious diseases – generating knowledge that changed minds and let to the establishment of guidelines to stop the spread of disease.

Carl Flügge


Dr. Carl Flügge pushed the boundaries of hand cleanliness by creating a distinction between hygienic and surgical disinfection. When you see doctors on your favorite medical dramas scrubbing, think of the bacteriologist and hygienist, Dr. Flügge, as he was the brains behind this common procedure.

Peter Kalmár

Portrait of Dr. Peter Kalmár

Dr. Peter Kalmár, a surgical physician, developed in partnership with BODE Chemie the first alcohol-based, skin-friendly disinfectant requiring no soap or water in 1965. Today, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are staples all over the world.

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