Plasmodium malariae: the persisting mysteries of a persistent parasite

Trends Parasitol. 2023 Feb;39(2):113-125. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2022 Dec 13.


Plasmodium malariae is a 'neglected malaria parasite' in as much as the amount of research conducted on it pales into insignificance when compared to that pertaining to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, its more notorious and pathogenic cousins. There has, however, been an increase in interest in this parasite over the past decade. Principally, this is because of the increasing use of sensitive molecular detection techniques that have revealed a wider than previously recorded prevalence in some regions (particularly in Africa), and high numbers of chronic, asymptomatic infections.

Keywords: Plasmodium malariae; epidemiology; history; quartan malaria.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Malaria* / epidemiology
  • Malaria* / parasitology
  • Parasites*
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium malariae / genetics
  • Plasmodium vivax