Sir Patrick Manson (1844–1922), Experimenting with Filaria sanguinis hominis in Amoy (Xiamen), China

Image credit: Wellcome Collection

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Between 1876 and 1877 Manson persuaded his Chinese gardner, who was infected with filariae, to allow himself to be fed on by the mosquito culex fatigans. By dissecting the mosquitos, Manson discovered in them the embryo worm called Filaria sanguinis hominis, and thus proved for the first time the involvement of an arthropod (the mosquito) in the life cycle of a parasite, and thus in the transmission of a disease. This painting is one of over 26 paintings by the historical painter Ernest Board that were commissioned by Henry S. Wellcome in around 1912 of episodes relating to the history of medicine and science.

Wellcome Collection



Sir Patrick Manson (1844–1922), Experimenting with Filaria sanguinis hominis in Amoy (Xiamen), China




oil on canvas


H 60.3 x W 91 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by Henry S. Wellcome

Work type



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