Malaria is the most serious vectorborne disease in the world. At the end of 2004, approximately 3.2 billion people lived in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 107 countries and territories. Between 350 and 500 million clinical episodes of malaria occur every year. It is a leading cause of death in many developing countries, where young children and pregnant women are most vulnerable. Of the one million deaths every year worldwide due to malaria, about 60 percent of the cases and more than 80 percent of the deaths are in Africa.

Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Four species of Plasmodium, namely, P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malaria, can produce the disease in its various forms. Among the ...

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