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Camelid Gastrointestinal Parasites from the Archaeological Site of Huanchaquito (Peru): First Results

Abstract : Palaeoparasitological investigation was conducted on a first set of samples from 13 sacrificed domestic camelids recovered from the pre-Hispanic Chimú culture site of Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, Peru. The aim was to establish the animals’ gastrointestinal parasite diversity and enlighten on their health status at the time of their death. To this end, 20 samples of coprolites and intestinal contents were analysed to check for the presence of parasite markers, i.e. preserved eggs and oocysts. Microscopic examinations revealed the presence of five taxa of helminths and protozoans in a majority of the tested animals (61%). Our analysis revealed the presence in some animals of protozoan oocysts belonging to the species Eimeria macusaniensis (phylum Apicomplexa). Our study is the first report of the possible presence of a parasite egg attributed to the order Plagiorchiida (family Fasciolidae) in ancient camelids. This preliminary study shows that there is interesting potential for conducting palaeoparasitological analysis at the site and that such analysis is promising for answering questions about the health status of the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas camelids.
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Matthieu Le Bailly, Nicolas Goepfert, Gabriel Prieto, John Verano, Benjamin Dufour. Camelid Gastrointestinal Parasites from the Archaeological Site of Huanchaquito (Peru): First Results. Environmental Archaeology, Taylor & Francis, In press, ⟨10.1080/14614103.2018.1558804⟩. ⟨hal-02190007⟩



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