QUESTION how did malaria evolve? ANSWER Malaria in humans probably evolved independently several times, and both times likely due to a cross-over event from a closely related primate malaria. For example, Plasmodium vivax is evolutionarily closely related to several species of malaria found in macaque monkeys in south-east Asia, and so a cross-over of one of those species into human, with … [Read more...]
How long has malaria existed?
QUESTION: How long has malaria been going on? ANSWER: The answer to your question depends on the kind of malaria as well as how exactly you define 'malaria'. The parasites which cause all forms of malaria, in humans as well as other mammals and birds, belong to a group called Plasmodium; scientists believe, based on genetic information, that this genus evolved around 130 million years … [Read more...]
How did malaria start?
QUESTION: When did malaria happen? ANSWER: It is believed that Plasmodium, the parasite which causes malaria in a wide variety of animals, first evolved in reptiles. Even today, reptiles are infected by species of Plasmodium that are related to those that infect humans. The parasite probably then evolved to infect birds, and then, more recently, to infect mammals. Many mammals can be … [Read more...]