Benign Malaria Drove Human Evolution
The malaria species rampant in the Asia-Pacific region has been a significant driver of evolution of the human genome, a new study has shown. An international team of researchers has shown that Plasmodium vivax malaria, the most prevalent malaria species in the Asia-Pacific, is a significant cause of genetic evolution that provides protection against malaria.
Their finding challenges the widely-accepted theory that Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of malaria, is the only malaria parasite capable of driving genome evolution in humans. The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine.