For the first time in the study of ancient parasites, analyses were carried out on samples taken from a First World War settlement in France (Geispolsheim, region of Alsace). Microscopic examination of sediment samples revealed the presence of 3 common human parasites, i.e., Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Taenia sp. A review of paleoparasitological studies in Europe shows that these 3 parasites have infected humanity for centuries. Despite this recurrence, literature shows that knowledge regarding many helminths was limited, and their life cycles were only relatively recently elucidated. Finally, the present study provides additional information about the health of the German soldiers and the sanitary conditions in the trenches during the first modern world conflict.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6