Immunological investigation of malaria and new perspectives in paleopathological studies

Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper. Mar-Apr 1999;75(3-4):17-20.


We applied a paleoimmunological investigation, using an immunoenzymatic assay revealing trophozoite derived Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein-2 antigen (PfHRP-2). The investigation was carried out on skin, muscle and bone samples. We examined predynastic egyptian mummies (3200 B.C.) from Gebelen, belonging to the Marro's Collection of the Anthropological and Ethnographic Museum of Turin, to assay the presence of malaria. The results obtained suggest an incidence of malaria of about 40% in the mummies of Gebelen group. Data are compatible with other observations effected on populations living in similar ecological conditions of malarial areas.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Egypt
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology*
  • Mummies / pathology
  • Paleopathology / methods*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Protozoan Proteins / blood*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • histidine-rich proteins