malaria cover image

In this focus

Malaria continues to claim a significant number of lives worldwide, estimated at ~ 1 million each year. The genome sequence of the most prominent human parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, was published in Nature in 2002. We are now proud to present the genome sequences of two additional human parasites, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi, along with a Review article discussing the scientific discoveries that have been aided by this information. In addition, we present a collection of papers illustrating highlights in malaria research that were published in recent years.


Current Research


Malaria research in the post-genomic era

Elizabeth Winzeler

Nature 455, 751–756 (9 October 2008) doi:10.1038/nature07361


Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

Jane M. Carlton et al.

Nature 455, 757–763 (9 October 2008) doi:10.1038/nature07327


The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

Pain, A. et al.

Nature 455, 799–803 (9 October 2008) doi:10.1038/nature07306


Sex ratio adjustment and kin discrimination in malaria parasites

Sarah E. Reece, Damien R. Drew & Andy Gardner

Nature 453, 609–614 (29 May 2008) doi:10.1038/nature06954

News and Views

Evolutionary biology: Sex ratios writ small

Jos J. Schall

Nature 453, 605–606 (29 May 2008) doi:10.1038/453605a


Distinct physiological states of Plasmodium falciparum in malaria-infected patients

Daily, J. P. et al.

Nature 450, 1091–1095 (13 December 2007) doi:10.1038/nature06311

News and Views

Malaria: Differential parasite drive

Giel G. van Dooren & Geoffrey I. McFadden

Nature 450, 955–956 (13 December 2007) doi:10.1038/450955a


Specific role of mitochondrial electron transport in blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum

Heather J. Painter, Joanne M. Morrisey, Michael W. Mather & Akhil B. Vaidya

Nature 446, 88–91 (1 March 2007) doi:10.1038/nature05572


The circumsporozoite protein is an immunodominant protective antigen in irradiated sporozoites

Kota Arun Kumar et al.

Nature 444, 937–940 (14 December 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05361

News and Views

Malaria: A protective paradox

Stephen L. Hoffman

Nature 444, 824–827 (14 December 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05409


Sodium-dependent uptake of inorganic phosphate by the intracellular malaria parasite

Kevin J. Saliba et al.

Nature 443, 582–585 (5 October 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05149


Production of the antimalarial drug precursor artemisinic acid in engineered yeast

Dae-Kyun Ro et al.

Nature 440, 940–943 (13 April 2006) doi:10.1038/nature04640


A var gene promoter controls allelic exclusion of virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Till S. Voss et al.

Nature 439, 1004–1008 (23 February 2006) doi:10.1038/nature04407

News and Views

Parasitology: Switching like for like

Piet Borst & Paul-André Genest

Nature 439, 926–927 (23 February 2006) doi:10.1038/439926b


Structural basis for Duffy recognition by the malaria parasite Duffy-binding-like domain

Saurabh Kumar Singh, Rachna Hora, Hassan Belrhali, Chetan E. Chitnis & Amit Sharma

Nature 439, 741–744 (9 February 2006) doi:10.1038/nature04443


Malaria early warnings based on seasonal climate forecasts from multi-model ensembles

M. C. Thomson et al.

Nature 439, 576–579 (2 February 2006) doi:10.1038/nature04503


A protein interaction network of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Douglas J. LaCount et al.

Nature 438, 103–107 (3 November 2005) doi:10.1038/nature04104


The Plasmodium protein network diverges from those of other eukaryotes

Silpa Suthram, Taylor Sittler & Trey Ideker

Nature 438, 108–112 (3 November 2005) doi:10.1038/nature04135