Virologist Howard Bachrach, who purified the polio and foot-and-mouth disease viruses and was the first to use genetic engineering to produce a vaccine, died June 26 in Atlantis, Fla.

The Faribault, Minn., native and University of Minnesota graduate was 88.

He had suffered from heart disease, said his wife, the former Shirley Lichterman of Lake Worth, Fla., who grew up in Minneapolis.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1942 from the University of Minnesota, Bachrach joined the war effort by doing research on chemical explosives and, later, on ways of preventing bread from going stale.

After the war, he returned to the university, earning a doctorate in biochemistry. Doing postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, he helped to isolate the polio virus.

His work on purification of the polio virus made possible the development of the first vaccine against the disease by Jonas Salk, according to virologist George Vande Woude, director of the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich.

From 1953 until his retirement in 1981, he worked for the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center in Greenport, N.Y., where he eventually became chief scientist. He made key discoveries in the fight against foot-and-mouth disease and other animal diseases.

For his achievements, he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1983.

In addition to his wife of 65 years, he is survived by his daughter, Eve, of Washington, D.C.; son, Harrison, of Tempe, Ariz., and a grandson.

A private service is being planned in Faribault.