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"It was my preferred entertainment when I was a kid, so when I set out to be a writer, it was perfectly natural that I should write the sort of stories that I used to enjoy reading."
- John Brunner

Designed Bacteria  
  Very early reference to the idea of bacteria designed to wipe out a particular species, and no others.  

In this novel of a far-future Earth, an unlikely invader has come to challenge the remnants of humanity. A single spore has seeded and grown; its progeny capture one man - and learn from him. And release him to infect others.

Zar is able to gasp out this warning.

"...Keep power flowing in the purification generators if you can! ...those plants! Their approach to problems is different from our own. No metals. No machines as we know them. But in hidden compartments in their tissues it was easy for them to create the bacteria of death! They invented those bacteria, and grew them, breaking them away from their own substance. Some way, when I was captive, I was infected. The thorns on the tendrils that held me! I was the carrier!
From Seeds of Dusk, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1937
Additional resources -

This engineered plague is not only virulent, but insidious in its effects:

During its incipient stages the poisons of it seem actually to stimulate mental and physical activity, giving a treacherous impression of robust health.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Seeds of Dusk
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Seeds of Dusk
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

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