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A New Malaria Parasite Discovered in Chimps

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A new species of a malaria parasite that infects chimpanzees is closely related to a similar parasite Plasmodium falciparum that infects humans, according to research published in PLoS Pathogens.

Why should we care?

"Investigation of the nuclear genome of this new species will further the understanding of the genetic adaptations of P. falciparum to humans. The risk of transfer and emergence of this new species in humans must be now seriously considered given that it was found in two chimpanzees living in contact with humans and its close relatedness to the most virulent agent of malaria."
 
 

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