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J Parasitol. 2014 Feb;100(1):147-50. doi: 10.1645/12-60.1. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

The changing pattern of parasitic infection among Korean populations by paleoparasitological study of Joseon Dynasty mummies.

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Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine and Research Center for Mummy, Dankook University, San 29, Anseo-dong, Cheonan 330-714, Korea;


In the coprolites of 4 recently discovered Joseon mummies of Korea, we found Ascaris lumbricoides , Trichuris trichiura , Metagonimus yokogawai , Paragonimus westermani , and Clonorchis sinensis eggs. The current finding was compared with previous paleoparasitological data, and with recent national survey data from Korea. For A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura , similar patterns of infection prevalence were observed between the national survey of 1961 and our current Joseon data. Some of the trematode species (C. sinenesis and P. westermani) showed much higher infection prevalences among the Joseon Koreans than among their 1960s descendants. The present results indicate that the decrease in trematode infection rates might have begun earlier than was the case for nematode infection.

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