Deadly malaria’s evolution revealed

The evolutionary path of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been revealed for the first time. This parasite is a member of a parasite family called the Laverania that only infect the great apes including humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators from the French National Centre for Scientific Research, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), and the International Centre for Medical Research of Franceville, Gabon, estimate that Plasmodium falciparum emerged as a human-specific parasite species earlier than previously thought.

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