Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Review article
14 Mar 2017
Review article |  | 14 Mar 2017

Wild African great apes as natural hosts of malaria parasites: current knowledge and research perspectives

Hélène Marie De Nys, Therese Löhrich, Doris Wu, Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer, and Fabian Hubertus Leendertz

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Cited articles

Adler, S.: Malaria in chimpanzees in Sierra Leone, Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit., 17, 13–19, 1923.
Ansell, J., Hamilton, K. A., Pinder, M., Walraven, G. E., and Lindsay, S. W.: Short-range attractiveness of pregnant women to Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, T. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. H., 96, 113–116, 2002.
Ayouba, A., Mouacha, F., Learn, G. H., Mpoudi-Ngole, E., Rayner, J. C., Sharp, P. M., Hahn, B. H., Delaporte, E., and Peeters, M.: Ubiquitous Hepatocystis infections, but no evidence of Plasmodium falciparum-like malaria parasites in wild greater spot-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus nictitans), Int. J. Parasitol., 42, 709–713,, 2012.
Blacklock, B. and Adler, S.: A parasite resembling Plasmodium falciparum in a chimpanzee, Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit., 160, 99–106, 1922.
Blanquart, S. and Gascuel, O.: Mitochondrial genes support a common origin of rodent malaria parasites and Plasmodium falciparum's relatives infecting great apes, BMC Evol. Biol., 11, 70,, 2011.
Short summary
Humans and African great apes (AGAs) are naturally infected with several species of closely related malaria parasites. Research on AGA malaria has been driven by the need to understand the origins of human malaria and the risk of transmission of malaria parasites infecting AGAs to humans. The understanding of the ecology of AGA malaria parasites and their impact on AGA health remains relatively poor. We review current knowledge on AGA malaria and identify gaps and future research perspectives.