PREHISTORICAL Pediculus humanus capitis INFESTATION: QUANTITATIVE DATA AND LOW VACUUM SCANNING MICROSCOPY

  • Juliana M.F. Dutra Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia
  • Arthur Daniel Alves Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia
  • Thaila Pessanha Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia
  • Rachel Rachid Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho; Laboratorio de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer
  • Wanderley de Souza Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho; Laboratorio de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer
  • Pedro Marcos Linardi Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas; Departamento de Parasitologia
  • Luiz Fernando Ferreira Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia
  • Sheila Mendonca de Souza Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia
  • Adauto Araujo Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca; Laboratorio de Paleoparasitologia

Abstract

A pre-Columbian Peruvian scalp was examined decades ago by a researcher from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. Professor Olympio da Fonseca Filho described nits and adult lice attached to hair shafts and commented about the origin of head lice infestations on mankind. This same scalp was sent to our laboratory and is the subject of the present paper. Analysis showed a massive infestation with nine eggs/cm2 and an impressive number of very well preserved adult lice. The infestation age was roughly estimated as nine months before death based on the distance of nits from the hair root and the medium rate of hair growth. A small traditional textile was associated with the scalp, possibly part of the funerary belongings. Other morphological aspects visualized by low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy are also presented here for adults and nits.

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Published
2014-04-01
How to Cite
Dutra, J., Alves, A., Pessanha, T., Rachid, R., Souza, W., Linardi, P., Ferreira, L., Souza, S., & Araujo, A. (2014). PREHISTORICAL Pediculus humanus capitis INFESTATION: QUANTITATIVE DATA AND LOW VACUUM SCANNING MICROSCOPY . Revista Do Instituto De Medicina Tropical De São Paulo, 56(2), 115-119. Retrieved from https://www.revistas.usp.br/rimtsp/article/view/78710
Section
Paleoparasitology