, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 573-596

Malaria in macaques

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Abstract

Seven species of malaria naturally infect eight species of macaques in southwestern India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Within malarious areas, the frequency of infections in infected species of macaques varies from 9 to 61%. Natural malarial infections in macaques are relatively benign. The proved or probable vectors of macaque malaria are seven species of mosquitoes that belong to the Leucosphyrus Group of the genus Anopheles. The geographic distribution of macaque malaria apparently is determined by the distribution of the Leucosphyrus Group of mosquitoes, which in turn apparently is determined by the distribution of tropical evergreen rain forest. Experimental infections with three species of macaque malaria frequently are lethal to populations or species of macaques that inhabit areas outside the geographic ranges of the parasites. In populations or species of macaques that are sympatric with experimentally virulent species of malaria, partial resistance probably evolved as a consequence of natural selection acting on favorable mutations.