We analyzed Ascaris ancient DNA of cytochrome b, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1, and internal transcribed spacer 1 genes extracted from the feces or precipitates of 15- to 18th-century Korean mummies. After multiple Ascaris genes in ancient samples were successfully amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), consensus sequences could be determined by the alignment of the sequences of cloned PCR products. The obtained sequences of each gene were highly similar to those of Ascaris spp. reported thus far but were genetically distinct from Baylisascaris, Parascaris, and Toxascaris spp. The current report establishes that the genetic characteristics of the Ascaris spp. infecting pre-modern Korean societies were not uniform but were diverse to some degree.

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