Johnston, Wyatt Galt


Dates:          b. 1863; d. 1902

Locations:    Demonstrator in Pathology, McGill, under Osler (1884‑1894); Lecturer in Bacteriology, under Adami (1894); Lecturer in Medicolegal Pathology (1895‑1897); Assist. Prof. Public Health (1897‑1902); Prof. Hygiene, Head of Dept. of Public Health, McGill (1902); Director Municipal Laboratory, Montreal; Bacteriologist, Quebec Province Board of Health, Montreal (late 1890's)

Training:      MD McGill University 1884;

Fields:          BACT‑NOM; water; public health;        b. 1863; d. 1902

Publications: "A New Method for the Culture of Diphtheria Bacilli on Hard-boiled Eggs.."; "On the Application of the Serum Diagnosis of Typhoid Fever to the Requirements of Public Health Laboratories," Public Health Papers and Reports 22 (1896): 248‑253;

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member 1899‑1902; Secretary Laboratory Section APHA 1899‑1900; Chair, Lab. Section APHA 1900‑1901);

Archive Files: Anna Sexton, "Wyatt Galt Johnston and the Founding of the Laboratory Section," AJPH‑‑Yearbook 40 (1950); "Report of the Comm. on Resolutions on the Death of Dr. Wyatt Johnston," Public Health Papers and Reports 29 (1903); 416‑418;


     Johnston was the first to offer the Widal test, using dried blood, on a public basis.  He routinely argued against withholding diphtheria antitoxin pending bacteriologic diagnosis.  He was also the driving force behind the APHA Committee of Bacteriologists to the Committee on the Pollution of Water Supplies.  Johnston recommended that the committee draw up procedures for the study of bacteria in a uniform manner.  The committee made recommendations for standardizing media and culture techniques. 

     Johnston was one of the first to employ the Widal test as a diagnostic tool in 1896, and the first to show that it could be used on dried blood, and not merely blood serum.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he presented a talk on "An American Bacteriological Journal."