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Jules Bordet
Jules Bordet's grave in Ixelles Cemetery

Jules Jean Baptiste Vincent Bordet (13 June 1870 – 6 April 1961) was a Belgian immunologist and microbiologist. The bacterial genus Bordetella is named after him.


Bordet was born at Soignies, Belgium. He graduated in the year 1892 as Doctor of Medicine at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium) and began his work at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1894, where, in the laboratory of Elie Metchnikoff, he described phagocytosis of bacteria by white blood cells. In 1898 he described hemolysis evoked by exposure of blood serum to foreign blood cells.

In 1900, he left Paris to found the Pasteur Institute in Brussels, and made his discovery that the bacteriolytic effect of acquired specific antibody is significantly enhanced in vivo by the presence of innate serum components which he termed alexine (but which are now known as complement). This mechanism became the basis for complement-fixation testing methods that enabled the development of serological tests for syphilis (specifically, the development of the Wassermann test by August von Wassermann). The same technique is used today in serologic testing for countless other diseases.

With Octave Gengou he isolated Bordetella pertussis in pure culture in 1906 and posited it as the cause of whooping cough. He became Professor of Bacteriology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1907.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to him in 1919 for his discoveries relating to immunity.

Bordet died in 1961 and was interred in the Ixelles Cemetery in Brussels. He was a freemason and member of the lodge Les Amis Philanthropes of the Grand Orient of Belgium in Brussels.

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Simple English

Jules Bordet
File:Jules Bordet
Jules Bordet, photo from the "Institut Pasteur de Bruxelles"
BornJune 13, 1870
Soignies, Belgium
DiedApril 6, 1961
InstitutionsBrussels University, Brussels, Belgium
Known forImmunology
Notable prizesNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1919)

Jules Bordet (June 13, 1870 - April 6, 1961) was a Belgian doctor.[1] He won the 1919 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his discoveries about immunity.[2]



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