Industry News Zoonotic malaria has been shown to be caused by two genetically distinct Plasmodium knowlesi parasite subpopulations associated with different monkey host species in Malaysia, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens. The authors believe this could have important implications for how the parasite adapts and spreads in humans. Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic malaria parasite which is common in forest-dwelling macaques. In recent years, increasing numbers of cases of knowlesi malaria have been reported in humans. The disease is now the most common form of human malaria in many areas of Malaysia, and has been reported across south-east Asia. The new study, led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), used sensitive genotyping methods to analyse samples of 599 P. knowlesi infections (552 in humans and 47 in wild macaques) at 10 sites in Malaysia. They identified two genetically divergent subpopulations of P. knowlesi in human cases, each associated predominantly with a different species of reservoir host – long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques respectively. Senior author, David Conway, Professor of Biology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “We were very surprised to find that knowlesi… Read full this story
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