Bretonneau, Pierre pyĕr brətônō´ [key], 1778–1862, French physician. He performed (1825) the first successful tracheotomy for laryngeal diphtheria, wrote a treatise (1826) distinguishing between scarlet fever and diphtheria (which he named), described typhoid fever, and stated (1855) the germ theory of disease (which later became established largely through Pasteur's work).
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