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Eimeria leuckarti in equid coprolites from the Sassanid Era (2nd-6th century CE) excavated in Chehrabad Salt Mine archaeological site, Iran


Askari, Zeynab; Sazmand, Alireza; Mowlavi, Gholamreza; Rüehli, Frank; Naddaf, Saied Reza; Rezaeian, Mostafa; Stöllner, Thomas; Aali, Abolfazl; Paknezhad, Niloofar; Otranto, Domenico (2024). Eimeria leuckarti in equid coprolites from the Sassanid Era (2nd-6th century CE) excavated in Chehrabad Salt Mine archaeological site, Iran. International Journal of Paleopathology, 44:27-32.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study reports coccidian oocysts in an equid coprolite dated to the Sassanid Empire (2nd-6th century CE) recovered in Chehrabad Salt Mine archaeological site, Iran.

METHODS

Between 2015 and 2017, an archaeoparasitological investigation led to the discovery of an equid coprolite in the Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site, (Douzlakh), western Iran. Samples were rehydrated using trisodium phosphate solution and were examined by light microscopy.

RESULTS

Seven oocysts of Eimeria leuckarti (Flesch, 1883) were identified; they were in various stages of sporulation.

CONCLUSION

This is the first report of ancient coccidian oocysts from equids. The importance of this observation is discussed, and current knowledge of eimeriid oocysts at archaeological sites is reviewed.

SIGNIFICANCE

The observations of E. leuckarti increases current knowledge of parasite biodiversity in ancient Iran when it rested along the Silk Road, a network of trade routes connecting the East and West that was central to economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions, and to livestock movement that could contribute to the transmission of the parasites from/to other regions.

LIMITATIONS

The contextual information about animal species present in and around the Salt Mine during its working periods, including Achaemenid dynasty (6th to 4th century BCE) and Sassanid era (2nd to 6th century CE), is very limited and does not allow secure conclusions regarding the host origin of the coprolites.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

Application of molecular biology tools to identify the correct host origin of the coprolites and to detect more parasite species is advocated.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study reports coccidian oocysts in an equid coprolite dated to the Sassanid Empire (2nd-6th century CE) recovered in Chehrabad Salt Mine archaeological site, Iran.

METHODS

Between 2015 and 2017, an archaeoparasitological investigation led to the discovery of an equid coprolite in the Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site, (Douzlakh), western Iran. Samples were rehydrated using trisodium phosphate solution and were examined by light microscopy.

RESULTS

Seven oocysts of Eimeria leuckarti (Flesch, 1883) were identified; they were in various stages of sporulation.

CONCLUSION

This is the first report of ancient coccidian oocysts from equids. The importance of this observation is discussed, and current knowledge of eimeriid oocysts at archaeological sites is reviewed.

SIGNIFICANCE

The observations of E. leuckarti increases current knowledge of parasite biodiversity in ancient Iran when it rested along the Silk Road, a network of trade routes connecting the East and West that was central to economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions, and to livestock movement that could contribute to the transmission of the parasites from/to other regions.

LIMITATIONS

The contextual information about animal species present in and around the Salt Mine during its working periods, including Achaemenid dynasty (6th to 4th century BCE) and Sassanid era (2nd to 6th century CE), is very limited and does not allow secure conclusions regarding the host origin of the coprolites.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

Application of molecular biology tools to identify the correct host origin of the coprolites and to detect more parasite species is advocated.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Social Sciences & Humanities > Archeology (arts and humanities)
Language:English
Date:March 2024
Deposited On:21 Feb 2024 11:23
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:32
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1879-9817
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2023.11.003
PubMed ID:38043140