Clinical Microbiology During the Vietnam War

Washington, Michael; Brown, Matthew; Palys, Thomas; Tyner, Stuart; Bowden, Robert
November 2009
Military Medicine;Nov2009, Vol. 174 Issue 11, p1209
Academic Journal
During the period of 1965-1968, over two dozen Army microbiologists were deployed to various locations in Southeast Asia in support of the Vietnam War. Their role was to serve both a clinical laboratory mission/function at the mobile Army surgical hospital and mobile laboratory level as well as to perform research roles in all of the facilities. They were essential to the formulation of medical intelligence as well as to the practice of operational medicine in the deployed environment. The results of their laboratory investigations provided commanders and military physicians with critical medical information for patient care, outbreak investigation, and forensic analysis. As with many soldiers in support of the infantry and armor combat forces, most of the work occurs behind the scenes and their contributions are often left out of the historical literature. This article presents a brief overview of microbiology performed by Army microbiologists during the Vietnam War.


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