Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Korean Journal of Parasitology (2016) 54(5): 591-603.


Creative Commons 4.0 License.


Investigations of Enterobius sp. infection in prehistory have produced a body of data that can be used to evaluate the geographic distribution of infection through time in the Americas. Regional variations in prevalence are evident. In North America, 119 pinworm positive samples were found in 1,112 samples from 28 sites with a prevalence of 10.7%. Almost all of the positive samples came from agricultural sites. From Brazil, 0 pinworm positive samples were found in 325 samples from 7 sites. For the Andes region, 22 pinworm positive samples were found in 411 samples from 26 sites for a prevalence of 5.3%. Detailed analyses of these data defined several trends. First, preagricultural sites less frequently show evidence of infection compared to agricultural populations. This is especially clear in the data from North America, but is also evident in the data from South America. Second, there is an apparent relationship between the commonality of pinworms in coprolites and the manner of constructing villages. These analyses show that ancient parasitism has substantial value in documenting the range of human behaviors that influence parasitic infections.