The earliest known presence of human-derived parasites in Ireland
Dr. Ingelise Stuijts has recently co-authored a paper on the results of environmental research on soil samples from late Mesolithic layers at the island site at Derragh, County Longford, Ireland. This research provided evidence of fish consumption by the human population in late Mesolithic Ireland.
All the samples analysed were positive for the presence of Diphyllobothrium sp., an intestinal fish tapeworm that infects humans. This finding represents the earliest known presence of human-derived parasites in Ireland, the earliest known finding of Diphyllobothrium sp. in Europe and the only finding of the tapeworm from hunter-gatherer contexts.
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