The Origin of Malaria

The Hunt Continues

The agent of malaria has been found in the greater spot-nosed monkey, also known as putty-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus nictitans), a small African primate derived from a line different to that of humans, gorillas and chimpanzees. This discovery challenges current thinking on the origin of the parasite and introduces a key element in the fight against malaria: knowing how it has adapted to the human species will make it possible to target its weaknesses.

This work stems from research carried out by CNRS researchers in association with other organizations(1) and is published on the 4 July 2011 in the journal PNAS.

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The greater spot-nosed monkey, Cercopithecus nictitans. (Credit: © Jean-Louis Albert, CIRMF, Gabon)

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