Wrote Letter L-334 of 1698-01-19 to Govert Bidloo about how little animals get into the human body through canal water and food preparation

January 19, 1698
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This letter is known only by reference in Bidloo’s reply.

In this letter, L. writes about how little animals can get into the human body through drinking canal water and preparing food.

Letter L-338 of 21 March 1698 from Govert Bidloo to Leeuwenhoek:

The thoughts that you wrote on the 19th of January last, about the drinking of canal water and preparation of food for human beings, namely that many animals (I mean water animals and their eggs) may thus get into the human body, please me very much.

This is the first known exchange of letters between Leeuwenhoek and Bidloo, the professor of anatomy and medicine at Leiden University, who visited Leeuwenhoek several times. Bidloo’s reply, a thorough study of the worms found in a sheep and humans, was published separately and is found in this volume as Letter L-338 of 21 March 1698.

Their second exchange of letters was eight years later. Leeuwenhoek wrote Letter L-444 of 7 March 1706 to Bidloo investigating the effect of an extract of the seeds of an East Indian tree on the coagulation of the blood and the effects of a drink from hempseed. In reply, Letter L-445 of 12 March 1706, Bidloo sends L. a recently published dissertation on the formation of chyle in the intestines.