Facilities accommodating suicide in 1945
After passing sterility tests, the freeze-drying process was conducted in a small room in the School.
By October 1940, a larger coordinated effort for blood processing was needed.
Image scanned from Connaught’s “Wartime Work 1939-1945” booklet. Charles Best that the Canadian military would need a larger, safer and better-preserved supply of blood at the front than was the case during World War I.
When World War II started there was no typhus vaccine available, but encouraging research, particularly at the United States Public Health Service, and then at the Harvard School of Public Health, opened the door to a vaccine based on cultivating the bacterium in fertile, developing hen’s eggs, or in chick-embryo tissue. James Craigie, Connaught launched an intensive typhus research program in July 1940 with funding from the National Research Council of Canada.
Craigie initially focused on studying the USPHS and Harvard methods and realized that two key problems remained: much richer bacterial cultures were needed, as was a better purification method.
Connaught began development work on tetanus toxoid in 1927, but it was not until the start of World War II that the Labs prepared the toxoid on a large scale. Taylor, this work focused on developing an improved method for the culturing of tetanus toxin, from which the toxoid was prepared.
However, it soon became clear that while the toxoid was effective, reports of occasional undesirable reactions prompted an intensive research effort at Connaught to eliminate such reactions. Taylor’s method, which utilized a more carefully prepared culture media that she devised, rather than the standard commercially available media, produced a toxin that surpassed the potency of other methods and resulted in a toxoid free of any undesirable effects. Taylor’s work with tetanus toxoid, which followed her similar bacterial culture media work with diphtheria toxoid and pertussis vaccine, led to her being awarded the Order of the British Empire at the end of the war.
In January 1941 Connaught took a leadership role in processing blood collected through a national Red Cross donor program and then preparing the freeze-dried serum.