Abstract of the chapter

Malaria as a possible motor of evolution?

Consuelo Giménez Pardo

While there are numerous species of the genus Plasmodium that affect humans, the disease we understand as severe malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum, a human apicomplex, protozoan intraerythrocytic parasite, which in its evolution managed to pass from other animals to primates and humans. Malaria is an endemic disease in many countries that affects a population of millions of people and is associated with high annual mortality, especially among sub-Saharan African children under five. However, is it possible that the disease is a consequence of the efforts of a species to adapt better to its living conditions? In the present work the possibility is evaluated and discussed that the disease, as a means of selective pressure would be an engine of evolution in the adaptation of the parasite to its host.