Origin and spread of malaria

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Scientists reconstruct ancient genomes of the two most deadly malaria parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum

Present-day traders and travelers in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal.  Christ
Present-day traders and travelers in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. Christina Warinner

In a new study, an international team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, reconstructed the evolutionary history and global spread of malaria over the past 5,500 years, identifying trade , warfare, and colonialism as major catalysts for its dispersal.

Malaria, one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, is caused by several species of single-celled parasites that are transmitted via the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. ...

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