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...]
How Many Types of Human Malaria?
QUESTION: How many types of malaria infect humans? ANSWER: There are four main types of malaria which infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale. P. ovale additionally can be split into two sympatric sub-species, P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri. Each of these five kinds has a subtly different life cycle which results in slight variations in symptoms and … [Read more...]
Of Macaques and Men
Plasmodium knowlesi —a new challenge in the Roll Back Malaria Program? Mention of malaria often conjures images of infants hospitalized in Africa. Although most deaths from malaria are children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa, there are many different types of malaria that put over half of the world’s population at risk in subtropical and tropical regions worldwide. There have historically … [Read more...]