Invited to 2017 Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

I was invited to "The 2017 Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology" (20-25 August 2017 in Groningen, the Netherlands) as a speaker. 

[S2] The spread and evolution of ancient infectious diseases

The Scientific Studies on Ancient Parasite Infection of East Asia by Microscopic and Genetic Researches

Dong Hoon Shin

Bioanthropology and Paleopathology Lab, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea

Only about 100 years ago, parasite disease was one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. The recent development of paleo-parasitology using archaeological samples can provide a wealth of information, making a scientific basis for understanding of ancient parasitism in history. Although East Asia is a region with a long history, the academic tradition of the research on the ancient parasitism was very weak. In recent years, however, interdisciplinary studies successfully revealed how the people of the area were affected by parasite infection in the past; and further analyzed even the ancient parasite genes. Actually, through the microscopic examinations of the mummy coprolites, we estimated the infection prevalence of each parasite spp. in pre-modern East Asia. More interestingly, using the ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis, we also got the genetic information of the ancient parasites prevalent in this area. To date, we sequenced Ascaris, Trichuris, Clonorchis, and Paragonimus aDNA; and by the analysis of the accumulated genetic information, we gained scientific evidences for understanding the genetic traits of ancient parasites in the historical East Asia. By the approaches, we know how the pre-modern parasitism in here differs from now and how their genetic characteristics have changed over the years.

Program of ESBS Meeting 


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