Parasitology Research

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp 1285–1290 | Cite as

What is the evidence for the existence of Plasmodium ovale hypnozoites?

  • Joachim Richter
  • Gabriele Franken
  • Heinz Mehlhorn
  • Alfons Labisch
  • Dieter Häussinger
Review

Abstract

Relapsing human malaria is regarded to be caused by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale. P. vivax relapses originate from dormant liver stages: “hypnozoites”. Also, P. ovale, a species considered as closely related to P. vivax, is in analogy assumed to display hypnozoites. A close biologic relationship is, however, not supported by molecular genetic studies. Therefore, original literature published since the description of P. ovale in 1922 was systematically screened for the demonstration of hypnozoites or circumstantial evidence for their existence, i.e. the occurrence of true relapses. In P. ovale infection, hypnozoites have never been demonstrated by biological experiments, and the few reports published on relapses have conflicting results.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Richter
    • 1
  • Gabriele Franken
    • 2
  • Heinz Mehlhorn
    • 3
  • Alfons Labisch
    • 2
  • Dieter Häussinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Tropical Medicine Unit, University Hospital for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of MedicineHeinrich-Heine-UniversityDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Institute for the History of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineHeinrich-Heine-UniversityDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Zoomorphology, Cellular Biology and Parasitology, Faculty of BiologyHeinrich-Heine-UniversityDüsseldorfGermany

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