Recent York: Malaria started off as a parasite in birds, then evolved to colonise bats, and from there spread to other mammals, a study on the evolution of the parasite has found.
“We cannot begin to know how malaria spread to humans until we understand its evolutionary history. In learning about its past, we could also be higher capable of understand the results it has on us,” said Holly Lutz from Cornell University within the US.
Researchers took blood samples from tons of of East African birds, bats, and other mammals and screened the blood for the parasites. After they found malaria, they took samples of the parasites’ DNA and sequenced it to discover mutations within the genetic code.
The evaluation showed that malaria has its roots in bird hosts, from which it spread to bats, after which on to other mammals. The findings were published within the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. PTI
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