Rare human outbreak of monkey malaria detected in Malaysia

Handful of people diagnosed with parasite found in macaques has scientists worried about increasing contact between monkeys and humans.

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Several people in Malaysia have become infected with a species of monkey malaria parasite that, until recently, had been recorded in just one person outside of the lab. Although only a few cases have been detected, researchers are worried that the ongoing destruction of monkeys’ forest habitat is increasing the amount of contact between people and primates, providing more opportunities for infections to jump to people. In January, researchers identified the parasite Plasmodium cynomolgi in five people being treated for malaria in hospitals and clinics around Kapit, a heavily forested area in the centre of the island of Borneo. 

By Yao-Hua Law, Nature News

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-04121-4

Image: CC0 Public Domain

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