Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version

January 2008


Citation: Reinhard KJ, Araújo A, Sianto L, Costello JG, Swope K. (2008) Chinese liver flukes in latrine sediments from Wong Nim´s property, San Bernardino, California: Archaeoparasitology of the Caltrans District Headquarters. Journal of Parasitology 94: 300-303.


Parasitological analysis of 5 sediment samples from latrine deposits spanning the time period from about 1880 to the 1930s are presented. Two sediment samples are from a latrine used by European-Americans. Three sediment samples are from latrines used by Chinese-Americans on the property of Wong Nim, an important member of the Chinese community. Two of the Chinese latrines were positive for human parasites. The human parasites encountered include the human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), the giant intestinal roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides, c.f.), and the Chinese liver fluke (Clonorchis sinensis). Evidence of the liver fluke is especially important. This parasite cannot complete its life cycle outside of its endemic range in Asia because suitable intermediate hosts are not present in the American continents. Its presence signals that at least some of the Chinese-Americans who used the latrines were immigrants who were infected in Asia and then sustained infections while in the Americas.