Download 307.16 Kb.
Pdf ko'rish
Hajmi307.16 Kb.
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   23

Vartan Ter-Vartanov extended my assignment for one more month so I could finish writing 
the draft report in Stavropol. The draft report was corrected and supplemented by R.I. 
Kotlyarova, a distinguished specialist in microbiology. Final editing was done by state prize 
laureate professor Ye.I. Korobkova and professor V.N. Lobanov, who later was awarded the 
title of  honored scientist of  the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. The final report 
was submitted to the USSR MOH. So ended the work of  the state commission to approve Lev. 
I. Leshkovich’s proposed vaccine strains.
When my assignment ended, the director of  the Scientific AP Institute of  the Caucasus and 
Transcaucasus appointed me to the position of  physician in the vaccine department, which 
produced live plague vaccine using the EV strain. I was very satisfied with this new position, 
because my half-year participation in the approval process for strains 100 R6 and 3413 R6 and 
the opportunity to associate with leading specialists of  the AP system had sparked my interest 
in  this  problem.  However,  the  literature,  my  personal  observations  about  the  difficulties 
of  obtaining new vaccine strains, my intuition, and the given circumstances suggested that 
the most promising line of  research would be to develop the theoretical foundations and 
practical recommendations for stabilizing the EV strain and the plague EV vaccine by means 
of  lyophilization. It should be noted that the problem had already been fairly well investigated 
at the military institute system, but the strict secrecy that existed in those years prevented any 
access to these materials. Therefore, beginning in 1960, the USSR AP system had to start 
this research all over again. This was done under the supervision of  the present author at the 
Scientific AP Institute of  the Caucasus and Transcaucasus.
Nearly 40 years of  work have produced important successes in improving the biotechnology 
of  the EV plague vaccine, as described very briefly in the article “Letter to a Friend” (Interesting 
Stories…, 1998, no. 9, p. 194).
Since I have the opportunity here, I consider it my duty to at least give the names of  those 
responsible for this success. I had enormous help in getting established in this field from my 
candidate dissertation supervisors and doctoral dissertation advisors, Mikhail Lvovich Bekker 
and Nikolay Ivanovich Nikolaev.
Mikhail Bekker, doctor of  medical sciences and director of  the biochemical laboratory at our 
institute, is an energetic and very good-natured person, erudite in many scientific fields. He 
helped me on a daily basis with his advice during the process of  preparing and performing the 
first experiments, discussing the results, and writing articles and the dissertations.
Professor Nikolay Nikolaev, director of  Mikrob, gave me confidence in the path that I selected 
and in my interpretation of  the results. This person, who held high positions and titles 

- 132 -                                     
Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
(institute director and major general of  the medical service, among others), was accessible and 
straightforward in dealing with subordinates.
My work was helped by long collaboration with a number of  leading specialists at Mikrob, but I 
would especially like to express my gratitude to professors T.I. Anisimova and L.V. Samoylova 
for their selfless help, advice, and continual interest in our work.
During my entire time of  working at the institute, I experienced the friendly support of  I.F. 
Taran, a charming person who was first a staff  scientist and then deputy scientific director, 
professor, and honored scientist of  the Russian Federation, and also the support of  Yury 
Grigorevich Suchkov, director (1970-83), professor, and now corresponding member of  
the Russian Academy of  Natural Sciences. Both of  them are leading specialists of  the AP 
system and thoroughly decent and principled managers, who judge their coworkers based on 
professional qualities rather than favoritism.
And of  course, because of  their diligence, enthusiasm, and love for their work, the personnel 
of  the experimental laboratory of  plague vaccines and the production department of  our 
institute made great contributions to, among other things, improving the biotechnology of  the 
EV plague vaccine, improving the quality of  the vaccine, and writing and revising the technical 
standards. These people, in addition to their research, participated in producing hundreds of  
millions of  doses of  plague vaccine. Their research and development topics were relevant and 
directly related to the needs of  production practice. The results of  numerous research studies 
provided the basis for one doctoral dissertation and 14 candidate dissertations (A.I. Tinker, 
1964, 1971; I.V. Pechnikova, 1966; E.A. Chernova, 1967; N.M. Kharkova, 1973; T.N. Funtikova, 
1978; D.A. Budyka, 1980; M.N. Goncharova, 1981; B.M. Asvarov, 1983; E.G. Shpilevaya, 1983; 
Ye.L. Rakitina, 1988; G.F. Ivanova, 1991; N.Ye. Pechnikov, 1991; K.S. Gyulushanyan, 1996; 
and A.I. Bondarenko, 1995). Two other candidate dissertations were prepared, but were not 
defended for incidental reasons. D.A. Budyka will defend his doctoral dissertation “Ways of  
improving EV plague vaccine” this year.
Important contributions to the success of  the research were made by highly professional 
practitioners in the department. They are physicians G.N. Verkhovtseva, V.F. Ivanova, A.D. 
Nekrasov, G.S. Novitskaya, N.A. Sarkisyan, A.V. Grebenyuk, V.V. Semenov, and V.D. Mayskaya, 
and engineer A.G. Khoroshenky.
Photograph caption:
January 23, 1959. First row (left to right): physician A.I. Yepifanov, commission members L.M. 
Osadchaya,  V.Ya.  Mikhaleva,  V.N.  Ter-Vartanov,  V.N.  Lobanov,  physician  T.V.  Fedorova.  Second 
row: physician A.I. Tinker, laboratory assistant T.I. Volkova, physician N.I. Kolesnikova, laboratory 
technicians M.M. Gerasimova, K.M. Romanova, V.I. Bulyatkina, A.I. Novikova, physician P.A. 
Pavlova, commission members O.O. Slynko and O.R. Kuznetsova. Third row: laboratory technician 

- 133 -                                               
August 2013
P.G. Trofimova, laboratory assistants O. Lebedeva, M.A. Gerasimova, K.A. Larionova, Z. Ramkulova, 
laboratory technicians M.A. Nazarova, K.A. Toropchipova, laboratory assistants T.S. Kondratyeva, 
A.Ye. Murina, L. Nizhegorodtseva, … (?).
Akimovich, V.V., N.I. Nikolaev, L.F. Zykin, N.G. Ponomarev, and A.A. Popov, “In vitro selection of  
virulent P. pestis strain variants with vaccine properties” (in Russian), ZhMEI, 1965, no. 6, pp. 64-68.
Asvarov, B.M., Experimental basis for increasing the immunogenicity of  live plague vaccine (in Russian), candidate 
of  medical sciences dissertation, Makhachkala, 1983.
Bondarenko, A.I., Development of  an electron microscopic method for quantitative determination of  damaged cells of  
EV plague vaccine (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1995.
Budyka, D.A., Use of  medicines to prevent post-vaccine reactions in people after subcutaneous injection of  EV live 
plague vaccine (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1980.
Chernova, E.A., Possibility of  evaluating the quality of  dry live EV plague vaccine during storage based on the 
amount of  live microbes contained in it (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 
Chernova, E.A., V.F. Ivanova, and V.D. Mayskaya, “Cell composition of  dry live EV plague vaccine 
with different storage times” (in Russian), Abstracts of  reports to the scientific conference, October 
1972, Stavropol, MOIP, 1972, pp. 56-57.
Funtikova, T.N., Comparative  study  of   dry  live  EV  plague  vaccine  prepared  from  agar  and  broth  cultures (in 
Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1978.
Goncharova, M.N. Several aspects of  comparative study of  plague vaccines (in Russian, candidate of  medical 
sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1981.
Gyulushanyan, K.S., Use of  culture medium based on maize extract in the production of  EV plague vaccine (in 
Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1980.
Ivanova, G.F., Improvement of  culture inoculum and culture inoculation conditions in the plague vaccine production 
process (in Russian, candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1991.
Kharkova, N.M., Influence of  iron ions on the growth and several biological properties of  the EV vaccine strain of  
the plague microbe (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1973.
Korobkova, Ye.I., Live Plague Vaccine (in Russian), Moscow, Medgiz, 1956.

- 134 -                                     
Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
Pechnikov, N.Ye., Optimization of  lyophilization conditions for live EV plague vaccine (in Russian), candidate 
of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1991.
Pechnikova, I.V., Influence of  drying medium composition on the thermal stability of  dry live EV plague vaccine 
during prolonged storage (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1966.
Ponomarev, N.G., and S.K. Gizzatullina, “Determination of  the magnitude of  ‘residual’ virulence of  
plague microbe strains proposed as vaccine strains” (in Russian), in: Genetika, biokhimiya i immunologiya 
osobo  opasnykh  infektsiy (Genetics,  Biochemistry  and  Immunology  of   High-Risk  Infections), Rostov-on-Don, 
1967, no. 1, pp. 365-72.
Rakitina, Ye.L., Optimization of  EV plague vaccine doses based on number of  live microbial cells (in 
Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1988.
Shpilevaya, E.G., Culturing of  plague microbe by apparatus method on agar made of  dry nutritional 
yeast (in Russian), candidate of  biological sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1983.
Shpilevaya, E.G., M.N. Goncharova, A.I. Tinker, and O.N. Lopatkin, “On spontaneous mutations 
in dry live plague vaccine consisting of  strains EV and K-1” (in Russian), High-risk infections in 
the  Caucasus.  Abstracts  of   reports  to  the  Scientific-Practical  Conference  on  Natural  Focality, 
Epidemiology, and Prevention of  High-Risk Infectious Diseases, December 20-22, 1978, Stavropol, 
1978, pp. 342-44.
Suchkov, Yu.G., “Isolation of  induced auxotrophic mutants of  EV vaccine strain of  the plague microbe 
and characterization of  amino acid requirements” (in Russian), Problemy osobo opasnykh infektsiy, Saratov
1970, no. 6(16), pp. 61-65.
Tinker, A.I., On the question of  optimum conditions for lyophilization of  live plague vaccine consisting of  EV strain 
cultured on solid culture media (in Russian), candidate of  medical sciences dissertation, Stavropol, 1964.
Tinker, A.I., I.V. Pechnikova, M.N. Goncharova, and N.M. Kharkova, “Magnitudes of  ‘residual’ and 
‘latent’ virulence as indicators of  immunogenicity of  plague vaccine strains” (in Russian), in: Abstracts 
of  reports to the All-Union Conference on Immunology and Immunoprophylaxis of  Plague and 
Cholera, Saratov, 1980, pp. 8-11.
Zyuzin, A.S., “On the reactogenicity of  dry live 1, 17 plague vaccine” (in Russian), Abstracts of  reports 
to  the  scientific  conference  on  natural  focality  and  epidemiology  of   high-risk  infectious  diseases, 
January 25-February 2, 1957, Saratov, 1957, pp. 129-30.

- 135 -                                               
August 2013
On the History of  the Study of  Far East Scarlet-like Fever 
(Epidemic Pseudotuberculosis)
Ivan Semenovich Khudyakov (pp. 88-132). Five photographs, two figures, 29 references.
This chapter describes the author’s work with Far East scarlet-like fever. A major part of  the chapter is dedicated 
to a description of  Vladimir Alekseevich Znamensky (1928-97), a naval microbiologist who led highly important 
investigations of  epidemic pseudotuberculosis. Author I.S. Khudyakov won the contest for writing the best article of  
Volume 8.
As chief  of  the 180th High-risk Infection Sanitary-epidemiological Laboratory at the Strelok Naval 
Base of  the Pacific Ocean Fleet, author Khudyakov was assigned to investigate serious outbreaks of  
an unknown disease among Soviet naval personnel in the Far East in 1959. He describes the disease 
and the details of  the investigation of  this epidemic.
Khudyakov, a classmate of  V.A. Znamensky, provides a brief  biography of  Znamensky and 
reminiscences of  their student days, including thoughts on several classmates who suffered political 
persecution. He notes that Znamensky did his most important work in the Far East. Although an 
echovirus  was  first  suspected, Znamensky  eventually  found  that  the  outbreaks  had  been  caused  a 
previously unknown form of  epidemic pseudotuberculosis.
  He conclusively proved his finding by 
infecting himself  with the pathogen. On June 16, 1967, the day before he defended his dissertation 
on the subject, Komsomolskaya  Pravda  newspaper published an article describing his self-infection. 
As a result, a large audience including television crews arrived at the Naval Medical Academy for 
the dissertation defense. Such unprecedented commotion annoyed the dissertation committee, but 
Znamensky was nevertheless awarded the doctoral degree. After Znamensky returned to Vladivostok, 
a film crew arrived to make a documentary film about him.
Znamensky retired from the military in 1970 and returned to his native Kiev, where he continued 
working as director of  the Microbiology Department at Kiev Institute of  Physician Continuing 
Confessions of  a Former Plagueologist
Yu.A. Shtelman (pp. 133-40)
This chapter describes the author’s career at the Astrakhan AP Station and provides sketches of  the author’s colleagues 
in the AP system.
  See Interesting Stories... 9 (1999), p. 218.
  This form of  pseudotuberculosis is caused by the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

- 136 -                                     
Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
On one occasion, Shtelman was exposed to infectious material when an alcohol burner sputtered,  but 
contrary to regulations, he did not report the incident.
 No infection resulted. In another case that he 
failed to report that a plague-infected animal escaped in his laboratory although he was able to capture 
the animal. He eventually complete his dissertation work successfully without repercussions.
What Mr. Karimi Saw and Should Have Seen When Examining 
the Work of  the Zooparasitology Brigade in the Territory of  
the Turkmen AP Station
Gertruda Stepanovna Starozhitskaya (pp. 141-50)
This chapter includes a narrative essay about the visit of  an Iranian dignitary to an AP research camp in Turkmenistan. 
G.S. Starozhitskaya worked at Mikrob from 1962 to 1996.
Starozhitskaya describes typical field conditions and the daily routine of  epidemic control work. She 
especially remembers a visit by an Iranian dignitary to their research camp in Turkmenistan. This 
particular  camp  was  selected  for  the  visit  because  it  exemplified  the  difficult  conditions  in  which 
workers conducted field research in an open environment. The primitive conditions, lack of  amenities, 
and the presence of  female staff  members without their husbands surprised the visitor. The Iranian 
informally talked with Starozhitskaya, which made her fear that her offhand remarks would violate the 
secrecy restrictions imposed by the KGB.
Partial translation:
During the 1970s, as a parasitologist in the parasitology laboratory at Mikrob, I collaborated 
with specialists at the Turkmen AP Station on research, which involved digging up entire great 
gerbil colonies and collecting fleas from different parts of  the burrow (entrance, passageways 
at depths of  0-60 cm, 60-120 cm, and 120-180 cm, as well as feeding chambers and nests). 
We  trapped  all  the  rodents  from  these  colonies  and  then  collected  fleas  from  them.  The 
ultimate goal of  the work was to be able determine the flea population in colonies based on 
the percentage of  fleas on the gerbils, thus avoiding the considerable work of  digging out the 
entire colony.
Because this was a multiyear endeavor covering all seasons, the administration of  the Turkmen 
AP Station proposed that the work be done at the permanent zooparasitology outpost where 
the staff  zoologists made regular observations about the condition and habitation frequency 
of  marked colonies. This outpost was located at Energache Oasis, 40-50 kilometers north of  
Ashkhabad. This site was particularly attractive because it had a dugout 2 meters deep with 
  An alcohol burner produces a hot, sootless, non-luminous flame that microbiologists use to sterilize the looped end of  
an inoculating needle. If  there is too much material in the loop, it can sputter and thus the unsterilized material can splash 

- 137 -                                               
August 2013
about 15 m² of  floor space that was well equipped for living quarters, and also had a shallow 
dugout laboratory with good lighting. In addition to these two dugouts, there were two small 
tents. One was a well-equipped kitchen with a large table, two pantries, decent cookware, etc. 
The other was a sleeping tent with cots and beds for the seasonal workers. There was a large 
metal barrel filled with water, which could be heated up in an hour, but which made the water 
somewhat rusty. We had to conserve this water. These details will be of  significance later in 
my story.
In addition to the laboratory technician Olya from Mikrob and myself, the expedition team 
included Zamira Laktimirovna Kusova, a zoologist from the Turkmen AP Station. She was 
from the mountainous region of  Ossetia and proud of  it, which was obvious from all her 
mannerisms and behavior, which sometimes caused difficulties in our daily affairs. But she was 
an excellent zoologist; serious and thoughtful, with outstanding scientific intuition and ability 
to analyze materials. The fourth woman was the middle-aged cook: it is very difficult to find a 
cook for fieldwork in Central Asia, but we were fortunate because our project did not involve 
traveling from place to place. The male portion of  the team consisted of  one truck driver, two 
experienced rodent extermination technicians from the station staff, and five seasonal workers. 
We worked earnestly and enthusiastically, all the while enduring the everyday hardships and the 
One day, a car arrived from the station. We were told that a special guest would be coming 
– Mr. Karimi, from the Baltazard’s laboratory in Iran. He had come to Ashkhabad to learn 
about how the USSR anti-plague service operated. They showed him and told him about many 
things, and apparently he had been received at the Turkmen SSR MOH. However, Karimi 
was really interested in seeing primary field surveillance work by a zooparasitology field team. 
Apparently, his insistent requests raised some concerns among the administrators of  the 
Turkmen AP Station, but something had to be done. It was decided that our scientific group 
would be the “showcase” team. The messenger gave me a number of  instructions, the gist 
of  which, among other things, was that no “science” was being done here. The situation was 
explained to the workers, who were told to do nothing more than greet the visitors and not get 
into any conversations whatsoever with them, and fortunately, no such occasions arose.
The next day, we waited for the visitors, but lunchtime came, and they still had not arrived. 
Finally, we could see the car approaching. Karimi had the appearance of  an interesting, strong 
(well-built) middle-aged man. He was dressed simply and elegantly, although clearly he was 
dressed for the field, not the city. He was accompanied by Aziz Kurbanovich Akiev, who was 
from the Scientific AP Institute of  the Caucasus and Transcaucasus and was head of  the WHO 
Plague Collaborating Center in the USSR. There also was an interpreter, although Akiev knew 
the Farsi language very well (it was said that he belonged to a high-mountain Turkmen clan). 
Senior zoologist I.V. Zhernovov, an excellent specialist and a worthy subject for a separate 
memoir, represented the Turkmen AP Station.

- 138 -                                     
Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
We introduced ourselves, and they inspected the camp, the laboratory, and our dugout living 
quarters. We talked a bit about general topics. By then, it was already time for lunch so everyone 
was invited to the table. We had practically no way of  preparing a celebratory feast, but our 
cook somehow managed to do it. The guests from Ashkhabad had brought brandy, green 
vegetables, and some dessert, so everything turned out rather well. During lunch, there were 
the traditional toasts and conversations. Everyone got to know each other better and loosened 
up somewhat. Karimi began making general conversation. But this was what I feared the most. 
We were so frightened by ending up at the Lubyanka Prison, the “gray” building (in Saratov the 
KGB offices were in a beautiful gray stone building), because of  the various secrecy pledges we 
had signed that I was afraid not only to speak, but to even open my mouth.
I was sitting next to Karimi at the table. After lunch, he asked permission to smoke and having 
received it, graciously offered me a Winston cigarette (I remember the brand well, because 
this was an exotic item at the time). I was in a quandary, not knowing what the best thing to 
do was, and not wanting to sully the reputation of  Soviet women. I gave Akiev a what-to-do 
glance, and he replied with a discreet approving nod. I took a cigarette and stalled for time, 
hoping to put off  any further questions. Then Karimi asked how long we usually stayed here. 
I was afraid to say how long because a real zoological team usually works three to five days. 
I gave a vague reply of  about seven to 10 days. Akiev got me out of  a jam by saying that the 
time varied, depending on the assignment. Seeing that Akiev was inclined to be “truthful,” I 
calmed down somewhat. Karimi asked some very simple questions, but we suspected a covert 
motive. For example,
“Where is your shower?”
“We don’t have one,” I answered.
“Where is the toilet?”
“To the right for women, to the left for men. We use the sand dunes and a shovel. We dig a hole 
and fill it with sand,” I answered in an attempt at humor.“Do you have an electric generator?”
“Then how does the refrigerator run?”
This question threw me off, because at the time what I knew as a “refrizherator” was what they 
used to transport frozen fish from Astrakhan. I did not realize that he only meant an ordinary 
household appliance (kholodil’nik].
“We don’t have a refrigerator,” was my reply.

- 139 -                                               
August 2013
Karimi asked:
“And where do you get fresh water?”
I apparently did not hear something about cold water, but as for fresh water, I pointed at the 
barrel. With near-disgust he asked:
“Can you drink that?”
“We don’t drink it. We drink green tea, hot or tepid. Sometimes if  we want something refreshing 
to drink, we visit the nearest shepherd, about two or three kilometers away, and there our 
whole team can drink either shubat (sour camel’s milk) or ayran (sour cow’s milk diluted with 
water). These are quite tasty, especially when the temperature outside is 50°C.”
Karimi told us about how people live and work in his country. They live in proper prefabricated 
buildings  with  all  conveniences.  Women  never  work  on  field  assignments.  Then  he  began 
asking about the personal lives of  women working in the desert. He asked if  I was married 
and who my husband was. He could not have come up with a better question, since at the 
time, my husband worked for the KGB. I had to tell him that my husband was a physician in 
the general healthcare system. When asked about what my husband thought about my long 
absence, I answered that we respect each other’s work. Karimi asked the other women the same 
question. We hardly noticed how quickly the time went by. Akiev, who seemed displeased with 
the conversation, began to insist on leaving. Karimi did not respond positively to this proposal 
and even stated his intention to spend the night here, which brought a heated negative reaction 
from his companions who mentioned the events planned for the next day. But the inquisitive 
guest, ignoring Akiev’s displeasure, expressed a desire to see the colonies we had dug up after 
finding out that they were not far from the camp.
Forgetting about any conspiracies, we drove out to the object of  our pride: a colony dug down 
to the nest, about 2.8 meters deep. The picture was rather impressive; a deep pit and a pile of  
excavated sand. Karimi was not so much delighted as surprised; why do this? Quickly getting 
my bearings, I said that, of  course, we usually do not dig out the whole colony, but that in 
this case, we had a special assignment to gather fleas from the nest to see whether they were 
Upon our return to camp, we began to say goodbye and the guest asked to be photographed 
with the women. Again I threw a secret glance at Akiev, fearing that our faces would be on the 
record “over there.” He secretly nodded his approval, and our encounter was recorded on film.
Later one of  the people who accompanied Karimi that day told us another interesting thing 
about the visit. It turns out that the guests were delayed in arriving at our camp for the following 
reason. When Karimi expressed an insistent desire to see a zoological team at work, this caused 

- 140 -                                     
Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
a great panic among the leadership of  the Turkmen AP Station because the route had to be 
approved by the KGB offices (as in our popular song, “can’t go there, can’t go here”).
road into the desert north of  Ashkhabad (the usual route and the shortest) crosses the Karakum 
Canal, and it is probably considered a strategic target. On the eastern road, there is a large area 
rimmed with barbed wire, also apparently a strategic target. To the west of  Ashkhabad is the 
Kartlinskoe freshwater reservoir, but not far from that is the municipal dump. And although 
everything at the dump is properly handled, irresponsible garbage truck drivers just drop their 
loads of  household and construction trash a few kilometers short of  the dump rather than 
going all the way out there. Therefore, the visitors’ driver took the longest route, bypassing the 
Kartlinskoe reservoir. This took a lot of  time, especially because cars cannot drive very fast 
over desert sands.
In recalling this encounter, I think that Karimi understood the entire “game” from the very 
beginning. When the visitors got in their car to leave, I noticed Karimi looking sadly and 
dejectedly at the three young women working under such conditions for the good of  their 
austere Motherland.

Download 307.16 Kb.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   23

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan ©fayllar.org 2020
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling