Publications by authors named "Karl J Reinhard"

32 Publications

Automontage microscopy and SEM: A combined approach for documenting ancient lice.

Micron 2020 12 23;139:102931. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Student Success Center, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Surbeck 143, Rapid City, SD 57701, USA. Electronic address:

Human ectoparasites, including lice, have been recovered from a wide range of archaeological materials. The human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, has been identified from mummies and sediments for decades. Louse eggs are the body part most commonly encountered and therefore the most frequently quantified. Typically, several types of microscopy are applied for egg documentation. For studies in which quantification of infestation is a goal, counting is done with the naked eye or with the aid of handheld lenses. For determination and stage classification, stereomicroscopy is commonly used. For more detailed examination of microstructure, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) can be employed. In most reports, researchers use two or more techniques to accomplish interrelated goals. Automontage microscopy is used to document prehistoric arthropods with good success. Herein, we report the results of a combination of SEM and automontage microscopy to document lice and eggs recovered from South American mummies. This combined approach allows for simultaneous examination of internal and external characteristics. Thirty automontage composite images of 2 adult lice and 16 eggs showed that egg internal morphologies were easily examined showing the within-egg anatomy of emergent nymphs. SEM imaging of 9 lice and 129 eggs was completed. In the case of two adults and several eggs, SEM imaging was accomplish after automontage image capture of the same specimens. This one-to-one image comparison of SEM and automontage shows that transmitted light of automontage reveals egg internal structures and details of the adult lice. SEM allows for high magnification examination of egg, nymph and adult microstructures. We conclude that automontage imaging followed by SEM results in efficient graphic documentation of rare louse specimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2020.102931DOI Listing
December 2020

Pinworm Infection at Salmon Ruins and Aztec Ruins: Relation to Pueblo III Regional Violence.

Korean J Parasitol 2019 Dec 31;57(6):627-633. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The study of coprolites has been a theme of archaeology in the American Southwest. A feature of archaeoparasitology on the Colorado Plateau is the ubiquity of pinworm infection. As a crowd parasite, this ubiquity signals varying concentrations of populations. Our recent analysis of coprolite deposits from 2 sites revealed the highest prevalence of infection ever recorded for the region. For Salmon Ruins, the deposits date from AD 1140 to 1280. For Aztec Ruins, the samples can be dated by artifact association between AD 1182-1253. Both sites can be placed in the Ancestral Pueblo III occupation (AD 1100-1300), which included a period of cultural stress associated with warfare. Although neither of these sites show evidence of warfare, they are typical of large, defensible towns that survived this time of threat by virtue of large populations in stonewalled villages with easily accessible water. We hypothesize that the concentration of large numbers of people promoted pinworm infection and, therefore, explains the phenomenal levels of infection at these sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2019.57.6.627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960258PMC
December 2019

Confusing a Pollen Grain with a Parasite Egg: an Appraisal of "Paleoparasitological Evidence of Pinworm (Enterobius Vermicularis) Infection in a Female Adolescent Residing in Ancient Tehran".

Korean J Parasitol 2019 Dec 31;57(6):621-625. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

School of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA.

There is often the risk of confusing pollen grains with helminth eggs from archaeological sites. Thousands to millions of pollen grains can be recovered from archaeological burial sediments that represent past ritual, medication and environment. Some pollen grain types can be similar to parasite eggs. Such a confusion is represented by the diagnosis of enterobiasis in ancient Iran. The authors of this study confused a joint-pine (Ephedra spp.) pollen grain with a pinworm egg. This paper describes the specific Ephedra pollen morphology that can be confused with pinworm eggs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2019.57.6.621DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960252PMC
December 2019

The Skiles Mummy: Care of a debilitated hunter-gatherer evidenced by coprolite studies and stable isotopic analysis of hair.

Int J Paleopathol 2019 06 7;25:82-90. Epub 2018 Sep 7.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, School of Natural Resources, United States.

The Skiles Mummy (SMM), a naturally mummified adult male from the late archaic period of Lower Pecos Canyonlands of South Texas, represents a unique case of care. SMM is an exceptional mummy within this region due to both the retention of a full head of hair, and having a diagnosed case of megacolon, a complication commonly associated with Chagas disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Stable isotopic analysis of his hair is consistent with a diet incorporating of C/CAM plants with some C plants, freshwater resources, and higher trophic level animals. However, the segments of hair most proximal to the scalp exhibited elevated δN values. Data from previous research indicate starvation and malnutrition can cause δN values to rise. The presence of large fecal boluses in the digestive tract suggest peristalsis ceased in the last four to five months of life, and this, together with results from coprolite analysis, indicate he would not have been able to adequately absorb protein and nutrients during this time. His condition would have rendered him immobile. Following Tilley's index of care, someone would have had to bring him food resources, as well as attending to his daily needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2018.08.004DOI Listing
June 2019

Palynological Investigation of Mummified Human Remains.

J Forensic Sci 2018 Jan 10;63(1):244-250. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68502.

Pollen analysis was applied to a mummified homicide victim in Nebraska, U.S.A., to determine the location of death. A control sample showed the normal ambient pollen in the garage crime scene. Ambient windborne types, common in the air of the region, dominated the control. Internal samples were analyzed from the sacrum, intestine, and diaphragm. Microfossils were recovered from the rehydrated intestine lumen. The intestinal sample was dominated by Brassica (broccoli). The sacrum sample was high in dietary types but with a showing of ambient types. The pollen from the diaphragm was dominated by ambient pollen similar to the control samples. The discovery of diverse pollen spectra from within a single mummy was unexpected. They show that ingested and inhaled pollen mixed in the corpse. The data linked the decedent to a specific crime scene in her Nebraska home in the southern tier of eastern counties on the border with Kansas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13463DOI Listing
January 2018

Assessing the Archaeoparasitological Potential of Quids As a Source Material for Immunodiagnostic Analyses.

Korean J Parasitol 2016 Oct 31;54(5):605-616. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Pathoecology Laboratory, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0962, USA.

In the present study, quids from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos (CMC) were subjected to ELISA tests for 2 protozoan parasites, (n=45) and (n=43). The people who occupied CMC, the Loma San Gabriel, lived throughout much of present-day Durango and Zacatecas in Mexico. The known pathoecology of these people puts them into at-risk categories for the transmission of and . Human antibodies created in response to these 2 parasites can be detected in modern saliva using ELISA kits intended for use with human serum. For these reasons, quids were reconstituted and subjected to ELISA testing. All test wells yielded negative results. These results could be a factor of improper methods because there is no precedence for this work in the existing literature. The results could equally be a simple matter of parasite absence among those people who occupied CMC. A final consideration is the taphonomy of human antibodies and whether or not ELISA is a sufficient method for recovering antibodies from archaeological contexts. An additional ELISA test targeting secretory IgA (sIgA) was conducted to further examine the failure to detect parasite-induced antibodies from quids. Herein, the methods used for quid preparation and ELISA procedures are described so that they can be further developed by future researchers. The results are discussed in light of the potential future of quid analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2016.54.5.605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127539PMC
October 2016

Temporal and Spatial Distribution of (Nematoda: Oxyuridae) in the Prehistoric Americas.

Korean J Parasitol 2016 Oct 31;54(5):591-603. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Pathoecology Laboratory, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68583-0962, USA.

Investigations of sp. infection in prehistory have produced a body of data that can be used to evaluate the geographic distribution of infection through time in the Americas. Regional variations in prevalence are evident. In North America, 119 pinworm positive samples were found in 1,112 samples from 28 sites with a prevalence of 10.7%. Almost all of the positive samples came from agricultural sites. From Brazil, 0 pinworm positive samples were found in 325 samples from 7 sites. For the Andes region, 22 pinworm positive samples were found in 411 samples from 26 sites for a prevalence of 5.3%. Detailed analyses of these data defined several trends. First, preagricultural sites less frequently show evidence of infection compared to agricultural populations. This is especially clear in the data from North America, but is also evident in the data from South America. Second, there is an apparent relationship between the commonality of pinworms in coprolites and the manner of constructing villages. These analyses show that ancient parasitism has substantial value in documenting the range of human behaviors that influence parasitic infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2016.54.5.591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127543PMC
October 2016

Prehistoric Pathoecology as Represented by Parasites of a Mummy from the Peruaçu Valley, Brazil.

Korean J Parasitol 2016 Oct 31;54(5):585-590. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Escola Nacional de Saude Publica, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Paleopathologists have begun exploring the pathoecology of parasitic diseases in relation to diet and environment. We are summarizing the parasitological findings from a mummy in the site of Lapa do Boquete, a Brazilian cave in the state of Minas Gerais. These findings in context of the archaeology of the site provided insights into the pathoecology of disease transmission in cave and rockshelter environments. We are presenting a description of the site followed by the evidence of hookworm, intestinal fluke, and infection with resulting Chagas disease in the mummy discovered in the cave. These findings are used to reconstruct the transmission ecology of the site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2016.54.5.585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127542PMC
October 2016

Cleaning Puparia for Forensic Analysis.

J Forensic Sci 2016 Sep 4;61(5):1356-8. Epub 2016 Jul 4.

Forensic Science Program, Chaminade University, 3140 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI, 96816.

We tested procedures for removing adipocere from insect samples to allow identification. An acceptable procedure was determined: (i) Samples were sorted in petri dishes with 75% alcohol to remove any larvae, adult insects, or other soft-bodied material. (ii) Samples of up to 24 puparia were placed in a vial with 15 mL of 95% acetone, capped, and vortexed for a total of 30-90 sec in 10- to 15-sec bursts. This step removed large masses of adipocere or soil from specimen. (iii) Specimens were removed from acetone and placed in a vial of 15 mL of 2% potassium hydroxide (KOH) and vortexed in 10- to 15-sec bursts until all puparia appeared clean (with our samples this required a total of 60-120 sec). (iv) Specimens were removed from the 2% KOH, placed in 75% ethanol, and examined microscopically. (v) Material was stored in 75% ethanol for identification and long-term preservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13121DOI Listing
September 2016

Taphonomic considerations for the analysis of parasites in archaeological materials.

Int J Paleopathol 2016 Jun 12;13:56-64. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

Pathoecology Laboratory, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE 68583-0962, United States. Electronic address:

Archaeoparasitological analyses of human remains can present interpretative challenges arising from diverse preservation environments. Three archaeoparasitological studies are used to demonstrate the impacts of five major types of taphonomic factors on parasite egg preservation. In the first case, an analysis of a historic Lithuanian mummy revealed infections with Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides and illustrates taphonomic issues unique to mummies. The second case involved the analysis of coprolites collected from medieval burials in Nivelles, Belgium. One burial demonstrated a high concentration of T. trichiura eggs (approximately 1,577,679 total eggs) and A. lumbricoides eggs (approximately 202,350 total eggs). Preservation was affected mostly by water percolation with differential preservation of eggs based on morphological characteristics. The third case is based on material from embalming jars of the Medici family. No parasite eggs were recovered; however, an abundance of mites and dipteran puparia were encountered, suggesting that arthropods may play a larger role in parasite egg preservation than previously supposed. Differential parasite egg preservation is discussed in light of variances in five major types of taphonomic factors: abiotic, contextual, anthropogenic, organismal, and ecological. Accounting for these factors is a vital component in the interpretation of archaeoparasitological data and should be included in future archaeoparasitological reports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2016.01.005DOI Listing
June 2016

Cryptosporidium parvum Among Coprolites from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos (600-800 CE), Rio Zape Valley, Durango, Mexico.

J Parasitol 2016 Aug 20;102(4):429-35. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Pathoecology Laboratory, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0962.

:  In the present study, 90 coprolites from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos (CMC) were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests for 3 diarrhea-inducing protozoan parasites, Entamoeba histolytica , Giardia duodenalis , and Cryptosporidium parvum , to determine whether these parasites were present among the people who utilized this cave 1,200-1,400 yr ago. These people, the Loma San Gabriel, developed as a culture out of the Archaic Los Caracoles population and lived throughout much of present-day Durango and Zacatecas in Mexico. The Loma San Gabriel persisted through a mixed subsistence strategy of hunting-gathering and agricultural production. The results of ELISA testing were negative for both E. histolytica and G. duodenalis across all coprolites. A total of 66/90 (∼73% prevalence) coprolites tested positive or likely positive for C. parvum . The high prevalence of C. parvum among CMC coprolites contributes to our growing knowledge of the pathoecology among the Loma San Gabriel who utilized CMC. Herein, we report the successful recovery of C. parvum coproantigens from prehistoric coprolites. The recovery of these coproantigens demonstrates the existence of C. parvum in Mesoamerica before European contact in the 1400s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/15-916DOI Listing
August 2016

Curatorial implications of Ophyra capensis (Order Diptera, Family Muscidae) puparia recovered from the body of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi, Monticiano, Italy (Middle Ages).

J Forensic Leg Med 2015 Nov 12;36:81-3. Epub 2015 Sep 12.

School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE, 68583-0987, USA.

The discovery of dipteran remains on mummified individuals can lead to either cause for curatorial concern or to a better understanding of the individual's post-mortem environment. The present study analyzed insect remains associated with the body of a unique medieval mummy of religious significance, that of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi da Monticiano. A total of 79 puparia were examined and all were identified as Ophyra capensis (Diptera: Muscidae). Additionally, a desiccated moth (Lepidoptera: Tineidae) was encountered. Puparia of O. capensis would be associated with normal decomposition shortly after the death of the mummified individual, and not an infestation beginning during more recent years. Similarly, the tineid moth found would likely be related with decomposition of cloth associated with the remains. These findings illustrate how collection and identification of insects associated with human remains can distinguish between historical decomposition versus issues of modern curatorial concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2015.09.005DOI Listing
November 2015

Agave Chewing and Dental Wear: Evidence from Quids.

PLoS One 2015 31;10(7):e0133710. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America.

Agave quid chewing is examined as a potential contributing behavior to hunter-gatherer dental wear. It has previously been hypothesized that the contribution of Agave quid chewing to dental wear would be observed in communities wherever phytolith-rich desert succulents were part of subsistence. Previous analysis of coprolites from a prehistoric agricultural site, La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos in Durango, Mexico, showed that Agave was a consistent part of a diverse diet. Therefore, quids recovered at this site ought to be useful materials to test the hypothesis that dental wear was related to desert succulent consumption. The quids recovered from the site were found to be largely derived from chewing Agave. In this study, the quids were found to be especially rich in phytoliths, and analysis of dental casts made from impressions left in the quids revealed flat wear and dental attrition similar to that of Agave-reliant hunter-gatherers. Based on evidence obtained from the analysis of quids, taken in combination with results from previous studies, it is determined that Agave quid chewing was a likely contributing factor to dental wear in this population. As such, our method provides an additional avenue of dental research in areas where quids are present.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133710PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4521945PMC
May 2016

Taphonomic considerations of a whipworm infection in a mummy from the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Int J Paleopathol 2014 Dec 31;7:83-87. Epub 2014 Aug 31.

Pathoecology Laboratory, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE 68583-0962, United States. Electronic address:

In the present study, the abdominal contents of 10 mummies from beneath the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, were examined for the presence of helminth parasites using standard archaeoparasitological techniques. Of the mummies examined, only one individual presented with evidence of parasitism. This individual was infected with both Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides (5,222 parasite eggs/gram). The conditions of many of the T. trichiura eggs suggest that a fortuitously embedded female whipworm decomposed within the individual's gut to release the eggs, as opposed to the eggs actually being passed by the adult helminth. This study highlights a taphonomic issue unique to mummies by demonstrating the differential preservation of parasite eggs existing in various stages of development. Whenever one is not dealing with parasite eggs that have already been passed by the host, as is the case when analyzing intestinal tissues, one must understand that some types of parasite eggs may not be fully formed. It is imperative, as demonstrated by our findings, that researchers have the knowledge to recognize under-developed intestinal helminth eggs in addition to fully formed intestinal helminth eggs from mummy source materials. Together, these findings demonstrate the persistence of these helminth parasites in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries and represent the first archaeoparasitological evidence from mummies in Vilnius, Lithuania.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.08.001DOI Listing
December 2014

Establishing tobacco origin from pollen identification: an approach to resolving the debate.

J Forensic Sci 2014 Nov 25;59(6):1642-9. Epub 2014 Jul 25.

Forensic Science Graduate Program, University of California Davis, 1909 Galileo Ct., Ste. B, Davis, CA, 95618.

Previous research into pollen content of tobacco resulted in a debate. We address this debate and determine that pollen analysis may be able to assist with identifying geographical origin of tobacco. However, the value of any results should be assessed on a case-by-case regional basis until sufficient database information is available for an objective interpretation to be undertaken on a global basis. As a first step toward developing comparative data for South America, we analyzed a tobacco sample from Brazil in an effort to identify signature taxa from the state of Minas Gerais. We also assessed the role of honey additives to tobacco to assess this issue. Comparing the data to previously published data, we conclude that pollen signatures can distinguish broad geographic areas. We conclude that this forensic interpretation framework needs to be developed in context of the National Academy of Sciences recommendations for tightening methods in forensic science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.12569DOI Listing
November 2014

A retrospective examination of paleoparasitology and its establishment in the Journal of Parasitology.

J Parasitol 2014 Jun 3;100(3):253-9. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee 37752.

Volume 95 (2009) of the Journal of Parasitology represented a significant benchmark in the history of paleoparasitology when it received on the cover formal recognition as a topical area for publication. This retrospective examination chronicles the emergence of paleoparasitology, from its origins as an adjunct contribution to the study of prehistoric human populations to its modern expression as a sub-disciplinary interest. The aim of paleoparasitology is to elucidate the temporal and spatial dimensions of parasitism from the fossil record of human and non-human host populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/13-485.1DOI Listing
June 2014

Parasitism of the Zweeloo Woman: Dicrocoeliasis evidenced in a Roman period bog mummy.

Int J Paleopathol 2013 Sep 8;3(3):224-228. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Department of Public Health and Pediatric Sciences, University of Turin, Corso G. Galilei 22, 10126 Turin, Italy.

We undertook the analysis of Zweeloo Woman, a bog mummy from the Netherlands, to assess her parasitic state. Evidence of infection came from two areas: (1) liver paraffin sections and (2) microfossils washed from an intestinal section. Although the liver had shrunken considerably, objects consistent with operculated trematode eggs were found. After evaluating the range of trematode species that produce eggs in liver tissue, we arrived at the diagnosis of Dicrocoelium dendriticum. Although only 0.1ml of sediment was recovered from an intestinal section, eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were also identified. No eggs of D. dendriticum were revealed by the intestinal wash although they were observed in the liver. The lancet fluke, D. dendriticum, is a zoonosis that usually infects ruminants such as cattle. Eggs of D. dendriticum may be found in human coprolites if infected cow liver, for example, was eaten. This is false parasitism. Since eggs of D. dendriticum were found in the liver of Zweeloo Woman, we are assured this was a true infection. This find is especially significant because it is the oldest known, patent infection of D. dendriticum in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2013.05.006DOI Listing
September 2013

Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach.

J Archaeol Sci 2013 Jul;40(7):3060-3066

University of Oklahoma, Department of Anthropology, 455 West Lindsey, Dale Hall Tower 521, Norman, OK 73019.

This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites' developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to , and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to . Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.03.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640563PMC
July 2013

Applying forensic anthropological data in homicide investigation to the depravity standard.

J Forensic Leg Med 2013 Jan 18;20(1):27-39. Epub 2012 May 18.

School of Natural Resources, 719 Hardin Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA.

Forensic anthropology can provide detailed information regarding the perpetrator's treatment of a homicide victim. This data may inform The Depravity Standard (DS), a forensic science inventory used to assess the severity of a homicide's intent, actions, victimology, and attitudes. Skeletal data enabled the reconstruction of a homicide case involving mutilation and possible torture. Using The Depravity Standard (DS) the skeletal data underwent evaluation in order to provide evidence of depravity. The osteological data alone offered sufficient evidence for a number of criteria of depravity, demonstrating the importance and application of osteology in resolving specific questions about the depravity of a homicide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2012.04.018DOI Listing
January 2013

Zoonotic and human parasites of inhabitants of Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, Rio Zape Valley, Durango, Mexico.

J Parasitol 2012 Apr 20;98(2):304-9. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Department of Zoology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois 62901-6501, USA.

We present the first reconstruction of the parasitoses among the people of the Loma San Gabriel culture, as represented by 36 coprolites excavated from the Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos in Durango, Mexico. The coprolites date to approximately 1,400-yr-ago. Species identified based on eggs recovered include the trematode Echinostoma sp., the tapeworms Hymenolepis sp. and Dipylidium caninum , and the nematodes Ancylostoma duodenale, Enterobius vermicularis, and Trichuris trichiura. After rehydration and screening, 2 methods were used to recover eggs from these samples including spontaneous sedimentation and flotation. Samples were analyzed by 3 different laboratories for independent verification and comparison of methods. Spontaneous sedimentation resulted in the discovery of hymenolepidid eggs that were not found with flotation. Sedimentation was a more-sensitive indicator of prevalence as well. The modified method of flotation permitted estimation of egg concentration and resulted in the detection of a few specimens not found by sedimentation. The results of both methods showed that 19 (of 36) coprolites contained helminth eggs. Our results detected the presence of pathogenic helminths including hookworms and whipworms. The cestodes found do not cause severe pathology in humans. The early dates of hookworm and whipworm, relative to other findings in the southwest United States, indicate that these parasites arrived relatively late in prehistory in Arizona and New Mexico, probably moving into the area with travelers from Mesoamerica.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-2915.1DOI Listing
April 2012

Paleoamerican diet, migration and morphology in Brazil: archaeological complexity of the earliest Americans.

PLoS One 2011 14;6(9):e23962. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Laboratório de Antropologia Biológica, Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências da USP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

During the early Holocene two main paleoamerican cultures thrived in Brazil: the Tradição Nordeste in the semi-desertic Sertão and the Tradição Itaparica in the high plains of the Planalto Central. Here we report on paleodietary singals of a Paleoamerican found in a third Brazilian ecological setting--a riverine shellmound, or sambaqui, located in the Atlantic forest. Most sambaquis are found along the coast. The peoples associated with them subsisted on marine resources. We are reporting a different situation from the oldest recorded riverine sambaqui, called Capelinha. Capelinha is a relatively small sambaqui established along a river 60 km from the Atlantic Ocean coast. It contained the well-preserved remains of a Paleoamerican known as Luzio dated to 9,945±235 years ago; the oldest sambaqui dweller so far. Luzio's bones were remarkably well preserved and allowed for stable isotopic analysis of diet. Although artifacts found at this riverine site show connections with the Atlantic coast, we show that he represents a population that was dependent on inland resources as opposed to marine coastal resources. After comparing Luzio's paleodietary data with that of other extant and prehistoric groups, we discuss where his group could have come from, if terrestrial diet persisted in riverine sambaquis and how Luzio fits within the discussion of the replacement of paleamerican by amerindian morphology. This study adds to the evidence that shows a greater complexity in the prehistory of the colonization of and the adaptations to the New World.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023962PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3173364PMC
April 2012

Parasitism of prehistoric humans and companion animals from Antelope Cave, Mojave County, northwest Arizona.

J Parasitol 2011 Oct 23;97(5):862-7. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata 7600, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Previously, we reported a tick recovered from Antelope Cave in extreme northwest Arizona. Further analyses of coprolites from Antelope Cave revealed additional parasitological data from coprolites of both human and canid origin. A second tick was found. This site is the only archaeological locality where ticks have been recovered. We also discovered an acanthocephalan in association with Enterobius vermicularis eggs in the same coprolite. This association shows that the coprolite was deposited by a human. This discovery expands our knowledge of the range of prehistoric acanthocephalan infection. In addition, findings from canid coprolites of Trichuris vulpis are reported. This is the first published discovery of T. vulpis from a North American archaeological context. The close association of dogs with humans at Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) sites raises the potential that zoonotic parasites were transferred to the human population. The archaeological occupation is associated with the Ancestral Pueblo culture 1,100 yr ago.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-2459.1DOI Listing
October 2011

Possible influence of the ENSO phenomenon on the pathoecology of diphyllobothriasis and anisakiasis in ancient Chinchorro populations.

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2010 Feb;105(1):66-72

Instituto de Alta Investigación, Departamento de Antropología, Centro de Investigación del Hombre en el Desierto, Arica, Chile.

Current clinical data show a clear relationship between the zoonosis rates of Diphyllobothrium pacificum and Anisakis caused by the El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO) phenomenon along the Chilean coast. These parasites are endemic to the region and have a specific habitat distribution. D. pacificum prefers the warmer waters in the northern coast, while Anisakis prefers the colder waters of Southern Chile. The ENSO phenomenon causes a drastic inversion in the seawater temperatures in this region, modifying both the cool nutrient-rich seawater and the local ecology. This causes a latitudinal shift in marine parasite distribution and prevalence, as well as drastic environmental changes. The abundance of human mummies and archaeological coastal sites in the Atacama Desert provides an excellent model to test the ENSO impact on antiquity. We review the clinical and archaeological literature debating to what extent these parasites affected the health of the Chinchorros, the earliest settlers of this region. We hypothesise the Chinchorro and their descendants were affected by this natural and cyclical ENSO phenomenon and should therefore present fluctuating rates of D. pacificum and Anisakis infestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0074-02762010000100010DOI Listing
February 2010

Impact of empire expansion on household diet: the Inka in Northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

PLoS One 2009 Nov 26;4(11):e8069. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States of America.

The impact of expanding civilization on the health of American indigenous societies has long been studied. Most studies have focused on infections and malnutrition that occurred when less complex societies were incorporated into more complex civilizations. The details of dietary change, however, have rarely been explored. Using the analysis of starch residues recovered from coprolites, here we evaluate the dietary adaptations of indigenous farmers in northern Chile's Atacama Desert during the time that the Inka Empire incorporated these communities into their economic system. This system has been described as "complementarity" because it involves interaction and trade in goods produced at different Andean elevations. We find that as local farming societies adapted to this new asymmetric system, a portion of their labor had to be given up to the Inka elite through a corvée tax system for maize production. In return, the Inka system of complementarity introduced previously rare foods from the Andean highlands into local economies. These changes caused a disruption of traditional communities as they instituted a state-level economic system on local farmers. Combined with previously published infection information for the same populations under Inka rule, the data suggest that there may have been a dual health impact from disruption of nutrition and introduction of crowd disease.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0008069PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2777378PMC
November 2009

Chinese liver flukes in latrine sediments from Wong Nim's property, San Bernardino, California: archaeoparasitology of the Caltrans District Headquarters.

J Parasitol 2008 Feb;94(1):300-3

719 Hardin Hall, School of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0987, USA.

Parasitological analysis of 5 sediment samples from San Bernardino, California latrine deposits spanning the time period from about 1880 to the 1930s are presented. Two sediment samples are from a latrine used by European-Americans. Three sediment samples are from latrines used by Chinese-Americans on the property of Wong Nim, an important member of the Chinese community. Two of the Chinese latrines were positive for human parasites. The human parasites encountered include the human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), the giant intestinal roundworm (Ascaris lubricoides, c.f.), and the Chinese liver fluke (Clonorchis sinensis). Evidence of the liver fluke is especially important. This parasite cannot complete its life cycle outside of its endemic range in Asia because suitable intermediate hosts are not present in the American continents. Its presence signals that at least some of the Chinese-Americans who used the latrines were immigrants who were infected in Asia and then sustained infections while in the Americas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-1049.1DOI Listing
February 2008

Parasites as probes for prehistoric human migrations?

Trends Parasitol 2008 Mar 11;24(3):112-5. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/Escola Nacional de Saude Publica; Rua Leopoldo Bulhoes 1480, Rio de Janeiro 2104-210, RJ, Brazil.

Host-specific parasites of humans are used to track ancient migrations. Based on archaeoparasitology, it is clear that humans entered the New World at least twice in ancient times. The archaeoparasitology of some intestinal parasites in the New World points to migration routes other than the Bering Land Bridge. Helminths have been found in mummies and coprolites in North and South America. Hookworms (Necator and Ancylostoma), whipworms (Trichuris trichiura) and other helminths require specific conditions for life-cycle completion. They could not survive in the cold climate of the northern region of the Americas. Therefore, humans would have lost some intestinal parasites while crossing Beringia. Evidence is provided here from published data of pre-Columbian sites for the peopling of the Americas through trans-oceanic or costal migrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2007.11.007DOI Listing
March 2008

Paleopharmacology and pollen: theory, method, and application.

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2003 ;98 Suppl 1:207-11

Laboratório de Ecologia, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública-Fiocruz, Rua Leopoldo Bulhões 1480, 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

Parasitism was a universal human condition. Because of this, people developed herbal medicines to treat parasites as part of their pharmacopoeias. We propose that it is possible to recover evidence of medicinal plants from archaeological sites and link their use to specific health conditions. This is a multidisciplinary approach that must involve at least paleoethnobotanists, archaeoparasitologists, paleopathologists, and pharmacologists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0074-02762003000900030DOI Listing
August 2003

Pathoecology of Chiribaya parasitism.

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2003 ;98 Suppl 1:195-205

The excavations of Chiribaya culture sites in the Osmore drainage of southern Peru focused on the recovery of information about prehistoric disease, including parasitism. The archaeologists excavated human, dog, guinea pig, and llama mummies. These mummies were analyzed for internal and external parasites. The results of the analysis and reconstruction of prehistoric life from the excavations allows us to interpret the pathoecology of the Chiribaya culture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0074-02762003000900029DOI Listing
August 2003

Louse infestation of the Chiribaya culture, southern Peru: variation in prevalence by age and sex.

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2003 ;98 Suppl 1:173-9

School of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 214 Bessey Hall, Lincoln, NE 685-0340, USA.

In order to improve the interpretive potential of archaeoparasitology, it is important to demonstrate that the epidemiology of ancient parasites is comparable to that of modern parasites. Once this is demonstrated, then we can be secure that the evidence of ancient parasitism truly reflects the pathoecology of parasitic disease. Presented here is an analysis of the paleoepidemiology of Pediculus humanus infestation from 146 mummies from the Chiribaya culture 1000-1250 AD of Southern Peru. The study demonstrates the modern parasitological axiom that 10% of the population harbors 70% of the parasites holds true for ancient louse infestation. This is the first demonstration of the paleoepidemiology of prehistoric lice infestation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0074-02762003000900026DOI Listing
August 2003