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Science. 2003 Apr 11;300(5617):318-21.

Early origin and recent expansion of Plasmodium falciparum.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-0425, USA. djoy@niaid.nih.gov

Abstract

The emergence of virulent Plasmodium falciparum in Africa within the past 6000 years as a result of a cascade of changes in human behavior and mosquito transmission has recently been hypothesized. Here, we provide genetic evidence for a sudden increase in the African malaria parasite population about 10,000 years ago, followed by migration to other regions on the basis of variation in 100 worldwide mitochondrial DNA sequences. However, both the world and some regional populations appear to be older (50,000 to 100,000 years old), suggesting an earlier wave of migration out of Africa, perhaps during the Pleistocene migration of human beings.

PMID:
12690197
DOI:
10.1126/science.1081449
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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