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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 98, No. s1, 2003, pp. 191-193
Bioline Code: oc03028
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 98, No. s1, 2003, pp. 191-193

 en Diagnosing Ancient Diphyllobothriasis from Chinchorro Mummies
Karl Reinhard & Otto Urban

Abstract

Diphyllobothrium pacificum check for this species in other resources has been reported as a human parasite from coprolites and skeletons in Peru and Chile. Our analysis of Chinchorro mummies from Chile provides the oldest evidence of D. pacificum directly associated with human mummies. These mummies date between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. The basis for our diagnosis is presented. We find that the size of the eggs in the mummies is smaller than other discoveries of D. pacificum. We suggest that this is due to the peculiar circumstances of preservation of parasite eggs within mummies and the release of immature eggs into the intestinal tract as the tapeworms decompose after the death of the host. This information is important to consider when making diagnoses from mummies.

Keywords
Diphyllobothrium pacificum check for this species in other resources - archaeoparasitology - mummy

 
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