Scientists Discover that Vivax Malaria Has Shaped the Evolution of the Human Genome in the Asia-Pacific Region

It has long been assumed that P. falciparum, the species that causes the most severe disease and most deaths from malaria, is the most important driver of this gene selection in humans

Dr. Ivo Mueller

"Humans and malaria parasites have been co-evolving for thousands of years", says Professor Ivo Mueller, a scientist at CRESIB, ISGlobal's research centre, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Malaria has been a major force in the evolution of the human genome, with gene mutations that provide humans with some protection against the disease. It has long been assumed that P. falciparum, the species that causes the most severe disease and most deaths from malaria, is the most important driver of this gene selection in humans". However, the results of a study just published in PLoS Medicine suggest that P. vivax malaria, considered until recently to be a "benign" form of malaria, is deadlier than originally believed and actually causes severe enough disease to provide evolutionary selection pressures in the Asia-Pacific region.

Infromation via: ISGlobal