Our New Publication: Infection patterns of trematode parasites among Joseon people
While paleoparasitologists in Korea reported scientific evidences for the infection patterns of various parasite species among the pre-modern Joseon people, historical study is also needed for understanding the socio-cultural aspects of parasitic infections of the past. In this study on the historical documents, we revealed the socio-cultural environment of Joseon society by which people were easily infected by trematode parasites. The historical records showed that Joseon people enjoyed raw fish cuisines, that might have caused Clonorchis sinensis and Metagonimus yokogawai infection, much more frequently than originally expected. It is also proven that Joseon people ate raw crab and crayfish, the intermediate host of Paragonimus westermani, as the seasonal delicacy or miracle cure drug for incurable diseases. We also found many Joseon records on raw-oyster dishes, possibly having caused Gymnophalloides seoi infection among the people. By this study, we could get the historical clues on how Joseon people could have been infected by various trematode parasites.