Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Male farmers at highest risk of contracting 'monkey malaria' in Malaysia.
Male farmers at highest risk of contracting 'monkey malaria' in Malaysia. A new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health,shows that adult male farmers in Malaysia are more than twice as likely to contract Plasmodium knowlesi malaria, an infection usually found only in monkeys than other people in their communities. The research team found that farmers in the country's Sabah region who work on plantations, clearing vegetation and taking part in forestry work were most at risk. Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic malaria parasite which is common in forest-dwelling macaque monkeys and transmitted between hosts by mosquitoes. It has a rapid growth rate in the blood that can lead to high levels of parasites in a short time and can cause severe and fatal disease. Recent deforestation in the Sabah region has brought humans into closer contact with the forest. P. knowlesi is now the most common form of human malaria in many areas of Malaysia, and has also been reported across South East Asia. The findings suggest that humans working on the fringes of the forest are at risk of contracting P. knowlesi, as well as in the forest itself when they carry out activities such as hunting. more