Volume 74, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We describe here an ancient case of cysticercosis that was discovered in an Egyptian mummy of a young woman of about 20 years of age who lived in the late Ptolemaic period (second to first centuries .). On removal of the stomach and its rehydration, a cystic lesion in the stomach wall was observed by naked eye. Microscopical examination of sections of this lesion revealed a cystic structure, with a wall, with numerous projecting eversions, a characteristic feature of the larval stage (cysticercus) of the human tapeworm (or “pig tapeworm”). Immunohistochemical testing with serum from a –infected human confirmed the identity of the cyst. This finding is the oldest on record of the antiquity of this zoonotic parasite. This observation also confirms that, in Hellenistic Egypt, the farming of swine, along with man an intermediate host of this parasite, was present, and supports other archeological evidence.


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  • Received : 08 Jul 2005
  • Accepted : 06 Nov 2005
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