Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The parasite that escaped out of Africa: Tracing origins of malaria parasite

February 21, 2014

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

An international team has traced the origin of the second-worst malaria parasite of humans to Africa. The closest genetic relatives of human Plasmodium vivax were found only in Asian macaques, leading researchers to believe that P. vivax originated in Asia. This study overturns that, finding that wild-living apes in central Africa are widely infected with parasites that, genetically, are nearly identical to human P. vivax.

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