Malaria first spread from birds: Study
Malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through mosquitoe bites, started out as a parasite in birds,...
New York: Malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through mosquitoe bites, started out as a parasite in birds, and then it evolved to colonise bats, and from there it has evolved to affect other mammals, reveals a new study.
Malaria affects close to 500 million people every year, but we're not the only ones--different species of malaria parasite can infect birds, bats and other mammals too, the study pointed out.The analysis revealed that malaria has its roots in bird hosts. It then spread from birds to bats and on to other mammals.
The study not only sheds light on the way malaria was able to evolve and spread, but it also provides important information about the manner in which animals and their parasites are connected."Having a better understanding of its evolutionary history could help scientists anticipate its future," study co-author Bruce Patterson from The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, noted.