A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Researchers Track Parasitic Infections Over Time
Monday, April 25, 2022
OXFORD, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Oxford, researchers led by Hannah Ryan and Patrik Flammer looked for the presence of parasitic worm eggs in the pelvic area of the remains of more than 460 people buried in 17 different sites across Britain from the Bronze Age through the Industrial Revolution. The investigation revealed that people who lived in the Roman and late medieval periods had the highest rate of parasite infections in the study. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, some sites had much lower rates of parasitic infection than others, perhaps due to sanitation practices that were put into practice locally before the Victorian “Sanitary Revolution” reduced infection rates nationwide. Similar changes could help reduce the number of infections experienced by some modern populations, Ryan and Flammer explained. Read the original scholarly article about this research PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. To read about the discovery of parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis in human skeletal remains from Syria, go to "Dawn of a Disease."
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