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In 1895, he carefully examined the food poisoning of all those present and the suspicious death of three musicians who performed a funeral service in Elzele. In the food served at the funeral (a poorly prepared ham) and histological specimens of the spleen of the deceased, he was able to find the bacterium and identify the action of the poison. He then referred to the bacterium as Bacillus botulinus. In 1897 he published his findings in the scientific Zeitschrift für Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten.
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