Malaria review

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جامعة الشيخ عبدالله البدري
Malaria history: Malaria remains one of the main killers of humans' universal, threatening the lives of more than 1/3 of the world's population [1]. It is an prehistoric disease and references to what was almost certainly malaria occur in a Chinese document from about 2700 BC, clay tablets from Mesopotamia from 2000 BC, Egyptian papyri from 1570 BC and Hindu texts as far back as the sixth century BC. Such historical records must be regarded with caution but moving into later centuries we are beginning to step onto firmer ground. The early Greeks, including Homer in about 850 BC, Empedocles of Agrigentum in about 550 BC and Hippocrates in about 400 BC, were well aware of the characteristic poor health, malarial fevers and enlarged spleens seen in people living in marshy places. For over 2500 years the idea that malaria fevers were caused by miasmas rising from swamps persisted and it is widely held that the word malaria comes from the Italian mal'aria meaning spoiled air although this has been disputed. With the discovery of bacteria by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in 1676, and the incrimination of microorganisms as causes of infectious diseases and the development of the germ theory of infection by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch in 1878-1879, the search for the cause of malaria intensified. Scientific studies only became possible after the discovery of the parasites themselves by Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880 and the incrimination of mosquitoes as the vectors, first for avian malaria by Ronald Ross in 1897 and then for human malaria by the Italian scientists Giovanni Battista Grassi, Amico Bignami, Giuseppe Bastianelli, Angelo Celli, Camillo Golgi and Ettore Marchiafava between 1898 and 1900. Excellent histories of this disease include those by Celli [2],, Stephens [3], Scott [4], Russell [5], Foster [6], Garnham [7,8], Harrison [9], Bruce- Chwatt [10], Desowitz [11], McGregor [12], Poser & Bruyn [13] and Schlagenhauf [14].. It is believed that its homeland is West Africa malaria (P. falciparum) and Central Africa (P. vivax). Four species of malaria parasite infect humans: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale