Ancient DNA from latrines in Northern Europe and the Middle East (500 BC–1700 AD) reveals past parasites and diet

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikel

Martin Jensen Søe, Peter Nejsum, Frederik Valeur Seersholm, Brian Lund Fredensborg, Ruben Habraken, Kirstine Haase, Mette Marie Hald, Rikke Simonsen, Flemming Højlund, Louise Blanke, Inga Merkyte, Eske Willerslev, Christian Kapel

High-resolution insight into parasitic infections and diet of past populations in Northern Europe and the Middle East (500 BC- 1700 AD) was obtained by pre-concentration of parasite eggs from ancient latrines and deposits followed by shotgun sequencing of DNA. Complementary profiling of parasite, vertebrate and plant DNA proved highly informative in the study of ancient health, human-animal interactions as well as animal and plant dietary components. Most prominent were finding of soil-borne parasites transmitted directly between humans, but also meat-borne parasites that require consumption of raw or undercooked fish and pork. The detection of parasites for which sheep, horse, dog, pig, and rodents serves as definitive hosts are clear markers of domestic and synanthropic animals living in closer proximity of the respective sites. Finally, the reconstruction of full mitochondrial parasite genomes from whipworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and roundworm species (Trichuris trichiura and Trichuris muris) and estimates of haplotype frequencies elucidates the genetic diversity and provides insights into epidemiology and parasite biology.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummere0195481
TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Vol/bind13
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider17
ISSN1932-6203
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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