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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 104, No. 4, 2009, pp. 671-672
Bioline Code: oc09151
Full paper language: English
Document type: Short Communication
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 104, No. 4, 2009, pp. 671-672

 en "Royal" pediculosis in Renaissance Italy: lice in the mummy of the King of Naples Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496)
Fornaciari, Gino; Giuffra, Valentina; Marinozzi, Silvia; Picchi, Malayka Samantha & Masetti, Massimo

Abstract

Pediculosis seems to have afflicted humans since the most ancient times and lice have been found in several ancient human remains. Examination of the head hair and pubic hair of the artificial mummy of Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496), King of Naples, revealed a double infestation with two different species of lice, Pediculus capitis, the head louse, and Pthirus pubis, the pubic louse. The hair samples were also positive for the presence of mercury, probably applied as an anti-pediculosis therapy. This is the first time that these parasites have been found in the hair of a king, demonstrating that even members of the wealthy classes in the Renaissance were subject to louse infestation.

Keywords
Pediculus capitis - Pthirus pubis - mercury - Italy - XV century

 
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