S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Dodd, Dr Sydney (veterinary bacteriology)

Born: 1874, Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
Died: 24 October 1926, Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Dodd, veterinary bacteriologist, was the son of Francis Dodd and his wife Amy. He qualified as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) in London in July 1902 and stayed on at the Royal Veterinary College as demonstrator in pathology and bacteriology. Before qualifying he had served in South Africa with the 10th Hussars during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). After qualifying he returned to South Africa and from Kroonstad in the Free State applied (unsuccessfully it seems) for employment as veterinary surgeon in Natal.

However, in November 1905, having been recruited by the government bacteriologist of the Transvaal Colony, Arnold Theiler*, Dodd arrived in Pretoria to take up the new position of assistant government veterinary bacteriologist at the Daspoort laboratories in Pretoria. Theiler described him in his report for 1905/6 as "a thoroughly competent bacteriologist, familiar with the preparation of mallein, tuberculine, quarter-evil vaccine, etc." He was put in charge of the manufacture of vaccines, and also started research on swine fever. Within a few months he had recognised and worked out the etiology of spirochaetosis in pigs, a chronic wound infection caused by a micro-organism, and published the results in 'A disease of a pig due to a spirochaete', in the Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics (1906). An account was also published in the Transvaal Agricultural Journal (1906/7, Vol. 5, p. 391). Earlier Dodd had already contributed an article on 'Black quarter' (sponssiekte) to the latter journal (1906, Vol. 4, pp. 581-584). Continuing his investigations of spirochaetes he published 'A preliminary note on the identity of the spirochaete found in the horse, ox, and sheep' in the Journal of Comaparative Pathology and Therapeutics in December 1906. Early in 1907 Dodd contracted enteric fever, but recovered (the government entomologist, C.B. Simpson*, died during the same outbreak). During 1907 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) partly in recognition of his research on a then unknown respiratory infection in turkeys. Later that year he resigned his post.

After his departure from South Africa Dodd spent the rest of his career in Australia. He was appointed principal veterinary surgeon of Queensland in 1907. In 1909 he established the Stock Experimental Station (later the Animal Research Institute) at Yeerongpilly, Brisbane. In April 1910 he resigned his post and the next year was appointed as the first lecturer in veterinary bacteriology at the University of Sydney. He remained at the university until his death in 1926. During his years in Australia he regularly published papers in the Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics, dealing among others with 'Piroplasmosis of cattle in Queensland' (1910), 'Anaplasms or Jolly Bodies' (1913), 'Tick paralysis' (1921), 'The etiology of Black Disease' (1921), 'Staggers or shivers in livestock' (1922), and 'Cancer of the ear of sheep' (1923). In 1910 the University of Melbourne conferred on him the degree Doctor of Veterinary Science for his thesis on Spirochaetosis in fowls in Queensland.

List of sources:

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by S. Dodd.

Henning, M.W. Animal diseases in South Africa (Vol. 1, p. 396). Central News Agency (SA), 1932.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Dodd, Sydney/Dodd, S.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Posthumus, P.J. An index of veterinarians in South Africa (4th ed., 2 vols). Pietermaritzburg: P.J. Posthumus, 1982.

Sydney Dodd. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org as on 2016-8-22.

Theiler, A. Report of the Government Veterinary Bacteriologist. In Report of the Transvaal Department of Agriculture, 1905/6, pp. 15-17, 81-109.

Transvaal Agricultural Journal, 1906-1907, Vol. 4, 5: Articles by Dodd.

The Veterinary Bacteriological Laboratories (p. 7). Pretoria: Transvaal Department of Agriculture, 1909. (National Archives, Pretoria, Vol. TKP280).

Compiled by: C. Plug