Metagenomics and microscope revealed T. trichiura and other intestinal parasites in a cesspit of an Italian nineteenth century aristocratic palace

Daniela Chessa, Manuela Murgia, Emanuela Sias, Massimo Deligios, Vittorio Mazzarello, Maura Fiamma, Daniela Rovina, Gabriele Carenti, Giulia Ganau, Elisabetta Pintore, Mauro Fiori, Gemma L. Kay, Alessandro Ponzeletti, Piero Cappuccinelli, David J. Kelvin, John Wain, Salvatore Rubino

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This study evidenced the presence of parasites in a cesspit of an aristocratic palace of nineteenth century in Sardinia (Italy) by the use of classical paleoparasitological techniques coupled with next-generation sequencing. Parasite eggs identified by microscopy included helminth genera pathogenic for humans and animals: the whipworm Trichuris sp., the roundworm Ascaris sp., the flatworm Dicrocoelium sp. and the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium sp. In addition, 18S rRNA metabarcoding and metagenomic sequencing analysis allowed the first description in Sardinia of aDNA of the human specific T. trichiura species and Ascaris genus. Their presence is important for understanding the health conditions, hygiene habits, agricultural practices and the diet of the local inhabitants in the period under study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12656
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020

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