Each year, 29th of April is dedicated to immunology celebrations. DOI (day of immunology) is also a synthesis of the main moments that define this concept without a precise date of its historical appearance.Immunology was initially linked to infection were the popular beliefs of the early Middle Ages about the ways of recovering after a heavy plague have been systematized and largely redefined only in the nineteenth century.The emblematic figures of the microbiology schools in France and Germany, represented mainly by Luis Pasteur and Robert Koch, have definitely marked both the medical thinking and the future elements of prophylaxis and the quality of life.Mankind owes these “hunters of microbes” the rapid development of health-related sciences as a whole. Vaccination – a problem that deserves to be treated separately due to the explosion of defamatory information difficult to understand in a society with solid principles – has offered the greatest gift to mankind, namely the eradication of smallpox more than 40 years ago.In the unprecedented expansion of biology and molecular genetics after 1950, immunology has continually improved and accepted changes and challenges. It was thus possible in a relatively short time to associate all clinical specialties with immuno-diagnostic studies and techniques that in turn generated new exploratory methods. In addition to the association with infectious diseases, which we have been “rarely” talking about, immunology has developed new, well-defined and well acknowledged today: immunodeficiencies and all the deregulations that they produce (whether primary, secondary, or neoplazias), hypersensitivities (allergies are one of the main pathology in a world free from parasitic or infectious diseases), autoimmune diseases, with an unfortunate over 80% frequency in women only.Let’s not forget that, due to immunology, successful organ transplantation has been implemented in many countries (although surgical techniques have been developed since 1910).As a consequence, immunomodulatory therapies have emerged, although still not sufficiently explained to the general public, but also a number of related specialties: immunohematology, immunodermatology (approximately 90% of these diseases have an immune substrate) have developed along with new technologies like immunohistochemistry responsible for the highest accuracy of the biopsy diagnosis.These thoughts are addressed this year especially to the one who played a major role in the initiation and development of the Commission and then of the Romanian Society of Immunology in 1971. Academician Ioan Moraru, director of the Mina Minovici Institute and then the Director of Victor Babes National Institute together with an enthusiastic group of researchers from the Institutes Ioan Cantacuzino, Matei Bals, Nicolae Cajal, Malaxa, Fundeni, Ioan Chiricuţă, and the Pharmacy Medicine Universities in Iaşi, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Craiova, Târgu Mureş and the Faculties of Medicine Veterinarians from Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca and the Institutes of Hygiene and Public Health in the same cities coagulated around him an important nucleus of enthusiastic young people who believed in his innovative ideas and kept alive the flame of this science over time.We pay tribute to his personality these days, and we remain grateful to the great professor at the same time as visionary, but perhaps too discreet for everything he has done for the development of immunology. Few of the readers may know that Professor Ioan Moraru has in the meantime become the vice president of the WHO, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 with the Professors Chazov and Bernard Lown. For reasons easily understandable for those times, he could not participate in Oslo at the awards ceremony.
Although Romania has not had historical chances along the way, especially for its scientific values (Paulescu – the insulin explorer, Henri Coanda, Ana Aslan, Gheorghe Benga) we should not forget the few who managed to cross the Western shield performance.The special mention we reserved to Professor Ioan Moraru is on this DOI just a modest way of evoking a bright and representative personality of Romanian medicine.
Professor Doctor V. Cristea
President of the Society for Immunology from Romania