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New evidence for the antiquity of the intestinal parasite Trichuris (whipworm) in Europe

Dark, P. (2004) New evidence for the antiquity of the intestinal parasite Trichuris (whipworm) in Europe. Antiquity, 78 (301). pp. 676-681. ISSN 0003-598X

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The whipworm, Trichuris trichiura L., is one of the most common human intestinal parasites worldwide, yet little is known of its origin and global spread. Archaeological records for this nematode have all been of Neolithic or later date, suggesting a possible association between the spread of pastoral farming and human acquisition of whipworm. This paper reports the discovery of eggs of the genus Trichuris in late Mesolithic deposits from south Wales, indicating that whipworm was present in Europe before the arrival of agriculture. This raises the possibility that human infection by Trichuris arose through contact with wild animals in parts of the landscape frequented by both human and animal groups.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:3447
Uncontrolled Keywords:Severn Estuary Goldcliff Mesolithic Trichuris whipworm nematode endoparasite NEW-WORLD EGGS COPROLITES HELMINTHS MUMMY
Additional Information:
Publisher:Antiquity Publications

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