history and parasites

Gaston PICHON pichon at bondy.orstom.fr
Mon Jul 21 06:11:52 EST 1997


21/07/1997

Lymphatic filaria _Wuchereria bancrofti_ seems to be a good marker of
human (pre)history. 
In fact, parasite speciation seems to have been caused by ethnogenesis
of the Polynesian ethnic group, some 15 centuries BC in the Fiji area.
It is also a marker of ancient contacts between Pacific and Indian
Oceans.

Another conjecture is that the proto-Polynesian, Lapita people, fled
Melanesia when another parasite, the deadly _Plasmodium falciparum_,
invaded these islands. Dwelling in coastal, swampy areas , Lapita were
much more exposed to malaria  than the Melanesian people, who lived
mainly in the montainous areas.

References:

Pichon G., 1981 - Migrations des microfilaires et des peuples oceaniens.
Un approche de la spéciation des filaires de Bancroft et de Malaisie,
par l'etude de la périodicite des microfilaires en fonction de la
densite; contribution à la prehistoire du Pacifique. Annales de
Parasitologie, 1981, 56 (1), 107-120

Pichon Gaston et al., 1982 - Filariose et prehistoire oceanienne.Journal
Soc.Oceanistes, 77-75 (38), 283-297

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gaston PICHON                   Entomo-Parasitologue
pichon at bondy.orstom.fr    
ORSTOM-Departement Sante        UR 7 GP 53 "Maladies a vecteurs"      
Centre Orstom d'Ile-de-France   Laboratoire d'Informatique Appliquee
32, avenue Henri Varagnat       93143 BONDY Cedex (FRANCE)
Tel:(33 1)/01 48 02 59 76       Fax :(33 1)/01 48 47 30 88
----------------------------------------------------------------------


> history and parasites
> 
> Cliff Monahan (cmonahan at IAMERICA.NET)
> 20 Jul 1997 08:00:56 -0700
> 
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> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> To: parasitology at net.bio.net
> 
> From: cmonahan at IAMERICA.NET (Cliff Monahan)
> 
> Subject: history and parasites
> 
> Date: 20 Jul 1997 08:00:56 -0700
> 
> Two items I hope that somebody can steer me towards. The first is a
> history of the
> cadeusis. 'We' know it as Dracunculus medinensis wrapped on a staff,
> but did Herodotus
> mention it in his 'History', are their biblical references to the
> cadeusis or just the
> 'fiery serpent,' how deep into Africa was its use as a symbol of a
> 'healer' found, is it
> still used in D. medinensis-indigenous regions, and why is Mercury
> associated with the
> cadeusis. The second relates to techtonic plate movements and the
> theory of continental
> drift. I understand this was first proposed by a parasitologist who
> studied parasites of
> fresh-water fish in South America and Australia. Can anybody give me
> his name or a
> reference of this work? I'm trying to gather interesting
> parasitological topics for use
> in a potential PBS series for the ASP, along the lines of 'Cosmos,'
> but for parasites.
> One part would cover parasites in history, so if anyone cares to offer
> their favorite
> historical parasite topic, then I'd be much intrigued and thankful.
> 
> Cliff
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
>    * Next message: Ricardo Lujan: "CENTRAL AMERICAN CONGRESS OF
>      MICROBIOLOGY"
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>    * Reply: Omar O. Barriga: "Re: history and parasites"
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