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Malaria parasites hide out during dry season

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Each year malaria kills roughly 400,000 people, most of them children and pregnant women in Africa. Scientists have long known that most of those fevers and deaths occur during the rainy months, when mosquitoes abound. But how does the disease persist during the long dry seasons, when almost no one falls ill and there are few mosquitoes to carry the tiny malaria parasite from one human host to another?

That mystery has long bedeviled scientists. But a new study in Nature Medicine by researchers from Germany and Mali has provided at least a partial answer: The parasite enacts a genetic change that enables it to hide in an infected person’s bloodstream for months, undetected.

Full article at the NY Times: Link

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