Natural Resources, School of

 

Date of this Version

2021

Document Type

Article

Citation

Published in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 38 (2021) 103022

doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.103022

Comments

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.

Abstract

Intestinal contents were sampled from a spontaneously enhanced mummy from the Sepulcher of the Priests of the Piraino Mother Church in the Province of Messina, Sicily. This adult male mummy, Piraino 1, is an unidentified religious dignitary dating from the late-18th to mid-19th centuries. Immunological and molecular diagnostics were used to test for common and clinically significant parasites. A morphological diagnosis of Trichuris trichiura (whipworm) was confirmed genetically. A previously undetected Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) infection was also identified genetically. These data indicate that the Piraino 1 individual was simultaneously infected with multiple intestinal parasite species indicative of poor hygiene. This study also emphasizes the importance of utilizing multiple diagnostic techniques to detect pathogens from archaeological contexts.

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