Sunday, June 27

What is malaria?

Ever wonder what is malaria?

Well, for those who are interested in infectious diseases, let me share a little bit about it with you guys. Not that I know a lot about it though.

Well, basically, malaria is a blood disease which is caused by a protoctist called Plasmodium. Plasmodium can actually cause this disease in a variety of organisms including reptiles, birds, not just humans.

For humans, the Plasmodium species which causes infection are P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae and P. knowlesi.

An interesting thing to note is P. knowlesi is actually a zoonosis meaning it naturally infects animals which is the macaques but has been recently to be found to infect humans too. And the main malaria cause in Malaysia is actually, P. knowlesi.

P. falciparum is the leading cause of fatality in malaria. Unlike it, the rest causes relatively mild disease which involves febrile symptoms.

Currently there is no vaccine for this disease. Sadly, 1 million people die annually due to this infection. And 25% of the number are children under the age of 5. Amazingly, there is 300million cases of infection annually too.

Malaria is among the top infectious disease killers around the world comparable to tuberculosis and HIV.

There is always this chicken and egg story. Poverty causes the problem in solving the malarial problem. At the same time, malaria causes poverty in the countries which are suffering severely from this disease. Is it possible to really eradicate this disease?

Should more research be carried out in this field??


jfook said...

There's no chat box to answer your ques so just reply you in the comment box. I'm studying Biomedical Sciences in UPM. :)

Wanderer said...


haha, ic... yea, i lazy put chat box here..

nice to meet another bio ppl from IPTA..

jfook said...

Oh, the facility is rather good. :)

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