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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-6

Plasmodium knowlesi-mediated zoonotic malaria: A challenge for elimination

Department of Microbiology, International Medical School, Management and Science University, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Durgadas Govind Naik
Department of Microbiology, International Medical School, Management and Science University, Selangor
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DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_17_18

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Malaria, a mosquito-transmitted parasitic disease, has been targeted for elimination in many parts of the world. For many years, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae have been known to cause malaria in humans. Now, Plasmodium knowlesi is considered to be an important cause of malaria, especially in Southeast Asia. The emergence of P. knowlesi with zoonotic implication is a challenge in the elimination efforts of malaria in Southeast Asia. P. knowlesi is known to cause severe complicated malaria in humans. P. knowlesi parasite is transmitted between humans and wild macaque through mosquito vectors. It appears that the malaria disease severity and host immune evasion depend on antigenic variation exhibited at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. P. knowlesi is sensitive to antimalarial drug artemisinin. Identification of vector species, their biting behavior, timely correct diagnosis, and treatment are important steps in disease management and control. There is a need to identify and implement effective intervention measures to cut the chain of transmissions from animals to humans. The zoonotic malaria definitely poses a significant challenge in elimination and subsequent eradication of all types of malaria from this globe.

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