New review in Malaria Journal on Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium simium origin in the Americas

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Figure

Schematic representation of the hypothetic origins of American P. vivax. The main routes of the transatlantic slave trades (in green), major European colonization routes between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries (in blue), and Asian migration waves (in brown-yellow) are indicated. When the migration route and origin have been confirmed by genetic studies, arrows indicate the direction of the transfer. The geographic incidence of P. vivax is indicated in dark grey when high and in light blue when sporadic, based on data from Battle et al. [5] for high-transmission regions and on data from Twohig et al. [71] for low-transmission regions in Africa (i.e. reports of all P. vivax occurrences in Africa). Map modified from Rougeron et al. [11]

Abstract.

Malaria is a vector-borne disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent human-infecting species in the Americas. However, the origins of this parasite in this continent are still debated. Similarly, it is now accepted that the existence of Plasmodium simium is explained by a P. vivax transfer from humans to monkey in America. However, many uncertainties still exist concerning the origin of the transfer and whether several transfers occurred. In this review, the most recent studies that addressed these questions using genetic and genomic approaches are presented.

“Key words: Malaria, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium simium, host switch, colonization, local adaptation, comparative and population genomics, vectors.”

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