Volume 93, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Lice are among the oldest parasites of humans representing an excellent marker of the evolution and migration of our species over time. Here, we analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) developed in this study the mitochondrial DNA of seven ancient head louse eggs found on hair remains recovered from two sites in Israel: 1) five nits dating from Chalcolithic period (4,000 ) were found in the Cave of the Treasure located at Nahal Mishmar, in the Judean Desert and 2) two nits dating from Early Islamic Period ( 650–810) were found in Nahal Omer in the Arava Valley (between Dead Sea and Red Sea). Our results suggest that these eggs belonged to people originating from west Africa based on identification of the louse mitochondrial sub-clade specific to that region.


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  • Received : 01 Sep 2014
  • Accepted : 21 Apr 2015
  • Published online : 02 Sep 2015

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