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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 22(1); 2013 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2013;22(1): 89-132.
doi: https://doi.org/10.13081/kjmh.2013.22.89
조선후기 한양 도성 내 토양매개성 기생충 감염 원인에 대한 역사 문헌학적 고찰
기호철1, 배재훈2, 신동훈3
3서울대학교 의과대학 해부학교실
Historical Study on Factors Inducing Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection among People of Old Seoul City during Joseon Dynasty
Ho Chul Ki1, Jae Hoon Bae2, Dong Hoon Shin3
1Institute for the Translation of Korean Classics, Seoul, Korea.
2The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage, Chungnam, Korea.
3Department of Anatomy, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. cuteminjae@gmail.com
Received: March 8, 2013;  Accepted: April 1, 2013.  Published online: April 30, 2013.
In a series of paleo-parasitological investigations, we have been able to obtain invaluable data on parasite infection patterns prevalent among the Joseon (1392-1910) people in Korea. Thus far we have established that the Joseon people were in fact heavily infected by various species of parasites, though precise patterns and exact statuses of infection in specific town and cities have proved elusive. In the present study, relevant historical documentation was obtained and examined, shedding light on some of the operative socio-cultural factors that might have played a role in inducing a high infection prevalence of Ascaris, a soil-transmitted roundworm, in Joseon society. On this evidentiary basis, we could confirm that the recycling of human feces as fertilizer and the habit of eating raw vegetables were both closely related to infection. These factors were sufficient to maintain the life cycle of Ascaris, there by perpetuating a cycle of infection and reinfection among the Joseon inhabitants. Overall, this study demonstrated the value of close medical-scientist / historian interdisciplinary collaboration infacilitating comprehensive and meaningful paleo-parasitological findings and interpretations.
Key Words: paleoparasitology, Joseon Dynasty, Ascaris, historical review, Korea
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