Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera


  • Eugene J. Gerberg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1689

Malaria is a debilitating disease caused by an infection of one or more protozoan parasites belonging to the subphylum Sporozoa, family Plasmodiidae, genus Plasmodium. These parasites are found in the blood of mammals, birds and reptiles. Human malaria is transmitted by the bite of female anopheline mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae).

Malaria is a major endemic tropical disease characterized by severe chills and fever, anemia, and splenic enlargement. The disease has a wide geographical range, occurring from the temperate zones to the sub-tropics and tropics. It has been estimated that there are 150–400 million malaria cases a year, with five million deaths.

Malaria once was thought to be caused by vapors arising from swampy areas, and thus in the eighteenth century the Italians called it malaria, or bad air. It wasn’t until 1880 that Charles Laveran, a French army surgeon, des-cribed malaria parasites in the red blood cells of humans. In 1897, Ronald Ross found a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene J. Gerberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA