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Study Finds Malaria Spurt Sparked After the Parasite Learnt to Switch Hosts

by Rajashri on  September 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
 Study Finds Malaria Spurt Sparked After the Parasite Learnt to Switch Hosts
The spurt of malaria in species as diverse as humans, birds, and mice occurred when the species-specific parasite strains learnt to switch hosts, according to a breakthrough study by researchers at Osaka University in Japan.
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The research team led by Toshiyuki Hayakawa analysed the parasite's mitochondrial genes, and found that modern strains of malaria had suddenly diverged from a common ancestor only 38 million years ago, reports New Scientist.

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It was earlier assumed that species-specific parasite strains had slowly evolved along with their hosts.

However, discarding the theory of co-evolution, the new study showed that malaria explosion in vertebrates occurred well before the parasite was able to infect them.

Source: ANI
RAS/L
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