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Answer to Sharp et al. The origin of Plasmodium vivax: science or story telling?

We thank Sharp et al. (2021) for pointing out the mistakes in the schematic phylogeny presented in Fig. 1 that appeared during the multiple editing of the phylogeny. We indeed agree that Plasmodium gonderi should be basal to the Asian primate Plasmodium (subgenus Plasmodium) and that P. carteri should be between P. vivax-like/P. vivax and P. cynomolgi and not be basal to P. cynomolgi/P. vivax-P. vivax-like. The phylogenies of Figs 1 and 2 have now been redrawn to correct these two points. Fortunately, this does not change what was written in the text and the take home messages of the article. Regarding the fact that Sharp et al. (2021) said that we are blind to the evidence regarding the P. vivax origin, we strongly disagree. We really think that the current evidence is not sufficient yet to conclude regarding the origin of the parasite. We do not say so because we are in favor of one or the other hypothesis (out-of-Africa or out-of-Asia), but simply because the scientific evidence is still not strong enough to draw any clear conclusion. In our review, we explain what we see as the problems/bias/contradictions in the data (from phylogenetics and population genetics), so would not go through those again here.
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