What is the first infected person with Plasmodium?
Plasmodium, the single-celled parasite which causes malaria, has been infecting humans since ancient times. In fact, the first written reference to its symptoms dates back almost 5000 years, to an ancient Chinese manuscript! It was also known from the writings of other ancient peoples, such as the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians; when Europeans arrived in the Americas, they found that local tribes had long recognised the dangers of malaria, and already had natural remedies for fever, including the bark of the cinchona tree, which was later used to make quinine (a moden anti-malarial). As such, it is impossible to say now who the first person infected with Plasmodium was, but it definitely occurred many thousands of years ago.
However, it was only until the late 19th century that people understood that Plasmodium parasites caused malaria, and knew how to observe the infection in the patient’s blood. This was done was Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, a French physician working in Algeria. As such, you could argue that the first person known to have Plasmodium was the patient he observed the parasite within, when he first described Plasmodium. Unfortunately, the patient had died of the disease; Laveran examined the blood after the patient had perished. I am not sure the patient’s name was recorded.