Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Is malaria research focusing its efforts in the right place?

Currently, the bulk of the scientific community’s firepower is aimed at Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the four known malaria-causing parasites. But researchers are starting to pay closer attention to Plasmodium vivax, which has heretofore lurked in its cousin’s shadow. Both P. falciparum and P. vivax invade liver cells as part of their life cycle, but P. vivax can lie dormant in the liver for much longer periods of time, potentially causing a relapse of malaria years after the initial infection. 


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