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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2003;98 Suppl 1:67-9.

Enterobius vermicularis: ancient DNA from North and South American human coprolites.

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Laboratório de Genética Molecular de Microorganismos, Departamento de Genética, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Av. Brasil 4365, 21045-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


A molecular paleoparasitological diagnostic approach was developed for Enterobius vermicularis. Ancient DNA was extracted from 27 coprolites from archaeological sites in Chile and USA. Enzymatic amplification of human mtDNA sequences confirmed the human origin. We designed primers specific to the E. vermicularis 5S ribosomal RNA spacer region and they allowed reproducible polymerase chain reaction identification of ancient material. We suggested that the paleoparasitological microscopic identification could accompany molecular diagnosis, which also opens the possibility of sequence analysis to understand parasite-host evolution.

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