Head lice accompanied prehistoric humans out of Africa

This is a ‘Video of ordinary head lice – but, at 200X magnification. ‘

From Reuters:

Head lice came with us out of Africa

Thursday, 7 February 2008 Maggie Fox

Head lice taken from 1000-year-old mummies in Peru support the idea that the little creatures accompanied humans on their first migration out of Africa 100,000 years ago, researchers report.

Genetic tests show the lice are nearly identical to strains found around the world that have been dated to when humans first began to colonise the rest of the world.

“It tells us that this genetic type got around the globe right as humans spread and migrated around the globe,” says Dr David Reed of the University of Florida, who worked on the study.

“We know that this parasite was distributed all over the globe along with us.”

Writing online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the researchers note there are three known strains, or clades, of head lice: A, B and C.

Clade A is found everywhere, clade B is common in both North America and Europe and clade C is rare.

3 thoughts on “Head lice accompanied prehistoric humans out of Africa

  1. Where did that head lice came from? Is there any way to stop them? coz it’s kind of annoying when they are living on you, your scalp will be itchy and sometimes you can’t concentrate on your works. The most things are when I was in a meeting and in front of my co investors I scratch my head and I can’t stop it coz it’s so itchy.


  2. Pingback: Prehistoric African Homo sapiens, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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