David Bruce was born in Melbourne, Australia on May 29, 1855 to parents from Scotland. He was educated at Stirling High School and the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1881. Two years later he entered the Army Medical Service and served in Malta and Egypt. While in Malta he isolated the organism responsible for Malta fever, later named Brucella Militensis, from goat's milk. His work was aided by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Bruce who assisted him in his laboratory work.
Bruce left Malta in 1889 and served as assistant professor of pathology at the British Army Medical School at Netley and in 1894 went to South Africa where he served in the South African War earning a special promotion to lieutenant colonel in 1900. In South Africa he studied many tropical diseases including cholera, dysentery, and sleeping sickness. During his investigation of sleeping sickness, called nagana in Africa, he sent the corpse of an infected dog to England, from which the causative organism Trypanasoma brucei was isolated.
Bruce was knighted in 1908 and published many articles published in tropical medicine journals. He served as the commandant of the Royal Army Medical School at Netley from 1904 to 1908.
He died on November 27,1931.
"Sir David Bruce"; American Journal of Public Health (1932)22:179-180
"Sir David Bruce KCB, D.Sc., LL.D., M.B., F.R.C.P., F.R.S."; Canadian Medical Association Journal; (1932)26:216
Sir David Bruce Wikipedia Entry