Molecular Parasitology

Four species of malaria parasite naturally infect humans. Of these, Plasmodium falciparum is by far the most serious threat to health. Infections with this organism cause 1-2 million childhood deaths per annum in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. The particular virulence of this species is due to a combination a high rate of multiplication and the way in which it alters the membrane of the host erythrocyte.