ABSTRACT

Echinostomiasis is prevalent in southeastern as well as northeastern Asian countries. This endemicity notwithstanding, no echinostome egg has as yet been reported by paleoparasitological studies conducted in Asian countries. Recently we analyzed geological-strata specimens retrieved from the ancient capital city of the Baekje Kingdom to uncover clues to the possible prevalence of echinostomiasis among contemporaneous populations of Korea. By means of archaeoparasitological technique, we found ancient Isthmiophora hortensis eggs in the specimens, thus revealing for the first time that ancient Korean people experienced isthmiophoriasis. Our report can be considered to have effectively broadened the spatial and temporal scope of research on echinostomiasis in human history.

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