The Podium Session at North American PPA Meeting


46th Annual North American Meeting of Paleopathology Association

Cleveland (Ohio), 25-27 March, 2019

WEDNESDAY, March 27
4:00 pm-5:45 pm


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Recent updates in phylogenetic analysis of ancient trematodes using the feces of Korean mummies of Joseon Dynasty

Jong Ha HONG (Laboratory of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and History of Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea), Chang Seok OH (Laboratory of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and History of Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea), Min SEO (Department of Parasitology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, South Korea), Dong Hoon SHIN (Laboratory of Bioanthropology, Paleopathology and History of Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea)

Archaeoparasitologists use various scientific techniques to improve our knowledge of parasite-infection patterns in ancient societies. Although attempts have been made to detect ancient parasite eggs in samples collected from excavation sites, few studies have been performed for getting genetic information of ancient parasite species. Fortunately, over the past several years, our archaeoparasitological studies have detected ancient trematode eggs in coprolite specimens (n=15; male=7, female=8) from 15th to 18th century Korean mummies. In this study, we thus analyzed multiple DNA sequences obtained from ancient trematode eggs, especially of Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis), Paragonimus westermani (P. westermani) and Metagonimus yokogawai (M. yokogawai). These trematodes were transmitted to human by ingestion of infected intermediate hosts (raw and undercooked freshwater fish, crabs or crayfishes), causing various subclinical or clinical signs and complications. We were successfully amplified of ancient parasite aDNA, then determined consensus sequences by the alignment of the cloned sequences of PCR products. We also tried to do the phylogenetic and network analyses. In case of C. sinensis, our study re-confirmed previous report that C. sinensis could not be easily distinguishable by its geographic distribution. In case of P. westermani sequences, however, they were divided into two groups: one (including ours) for P. westermani reported from East Asia; another for P. westermani sequences in Southeast Asia and India. Finally, the current M. yokogawai sequences from Korean mummies were obviously distinguished from the other parasites. Although they were grouped with other Metagonimus species, they were not clustering according to regional differences of the M. yokogawai examined.

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (no. NRF-2016R1A2B4015669).






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