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New species of human malaria recognized

Date:
May 18, 2010
Source:
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Summary:
Scientists investigating ovale malaria, a form of the disease thought to be caused by a single species of parasite, have confirmed that the parasite is actually two similar but distinct species which do not reproduce with each other.

Scientists investigating ovale malaria, a form of the disease thought to be caused by a single species of parasite, have confirmed that the parasite is actually two similar but distinct species which do not reproduce with each other, according to research published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Mahidol University, Bangkok collaborated last year in order to share their research after noticing that the single parasite Plasmodium ovale, though visible through a microscope, was not detected by forensic DNA tests designed to identify the species.

Dr Colin Sutherland, lead researcher at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says " We used DNA technology to compare the parasites from 56 patients with ovale malaria, from across the tropical world. It was a great surprise to find that, not only are these two species completely distinct from each other by every test we carried out, they actually occur in people living side by side in the same African and Asian countries, and even in the same towns and villages. We hope to continue our work so we can unravel the mysterious differences between these two newly recognised human pathogens."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Su et al. Human Malaria Parasites: Are We Ready for a New Species? The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2010; 201 (10): 1453 DOI: 10.1086/652238
  2. Sutherland et al. Two Nonrecombining Sympatric Forms of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium ovale Occur Globally. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2010; 201 (10): 1544 DOI: 10.1086/652240

Cite This Page:

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. "New species of human malaria recognized." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150951.htm>.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. (2010, May 18). New species of human malaria recognized. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150951.htm
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. "New species of human malaria recognized." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150951.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

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