Reflections on a Century of Malaria Biochemistry

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According to Manson malaria was transmitted from human to human by a mosquito. Ross discovered that malaria was transmitted by the biting of specific species of mosquito.

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Malaria was prevalent in the Roman Empire , and the Roman scholars associated the disease with the marshy or swampy lands where the disease was particularly rampant. They called it malaria literally meaning "bad air" as they believed that the disease was a kind of miasma that was spread in the air, as originally conceived by Ancient Greeks.

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Then it was a medical consensus that malaria was spread due to miasma, the bad air. The first record of argument against the miasmatic nature of malaria was from an American physician John Crawford.

Gorgas wrote an article "Mosquital Origin of Malarial Disease" in Baltimore Observer in , but it provoked no consequences. An American physician Charles Earl Johnson provided a systematic and elaborate arguments against miasmatic origin of malaria in before the Medical Society of North Carolina. The notion that malaria was due to miasma was negated by the discovery of malarial parasite.

A German physician Johann Heinrich Meckel was the first to observed in the protozoan parasites as black pigment granules from the blood and spleen of a patient who died of malaria.

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But he did not understand the parasitic nature and significance of those granules in connection with malaria. In a German pathologist Rudolf Virchow realised that it could be those granules that were responsible for the disease. In an Italian biologist Ettore Afanasiev further argued that the granules were definitely the causative agents. He meticulously examined patients, and noted the cellular bodies in all cases of malaria but never in those without malaria.

He also found that after treatment with quinine , the parasites disappeared from blood.

Advances in Parasitology, Volume 67: Reflections on a Century of Malaria Biochemistry

In the early s Laveran's germ theory of malaria was generally accepted by the science community. However pivotal problems still remained, such as what transmit the malarial parasites and how. The scientific clue emerged when a British medical officer Patrick Manson discovered for the first time that parasites were transmitted by mosquitoes.


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In while working in Amoy , a coastal town in China, he found that the mosquito Culex fatigans now Culex quinquefasciatus was the vector of the filarial roundworm that he called Filaria sanguinis hominis but now Wuchereria bancrofti. Based on the report of Manson's discovery, an American physician Albert Freeman Africanus King developed a proposition that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Riley and L. Howard, who did not share the same opinion. Unfettered he developed the theory with proper justifications and presented it before the Philosophical Society of Washington on 10 February , under the title "The Prevention of Malarial Disease Illustrating inter alia the Conservative Function of Ague". He went so far as to suggest the complete covering of Washington, DC along the Washington Monument with giant net to protect the city from malaria.


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I now propose to present a series of facts King carefully selected his view in 19 points. But the flaw in his proposition was that he believed malaria was transmitted by mosquito through its eggs. His attention was soon drawn towards malaria and began to realise the implications of his own discovery of filarial transmission on malaria.

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He proposed that: [36]. Manson was unfortunate that he could not investigate his theory as he was not in malaria endemic country such as India , where it could be experimentally proven. In Patrick Manson devised an ingenious procedure for detecting malarial parasites at different developmental stages from blood samples. Manson demonstrated to and taught Ronald Ross the technique from which Ross became convinced of Laveran's germ theory.

Trained and mentored by Manson, Ross returned to India in March to start his investigation. But to the dismay of Ross it was not an easy task. His first detection of malarial parasite from patients came only after two months of hard work. On 20 August he made a momentous discovery that some mosquitoes had malarial parasites in them. He had fed the blood of a malarial patient Husein Khan to different groups of mosquitoes four days before, and found that only one type which he called "brown type" or more commonly "dappled-winged mosquitoes", not knowing the species, which in fact was Anopheles acquired the malarial parasites in its stomach.

The second experimental evidence came in the mid when Ross demonstrated the transmission of bird malaria Proteosoma relictum now Plasmodium relictum between larks and mosquitoes, which he called "grey mosquitos" which were Culex fatigans , but now renamed Culex quinquefasciatus. He further discovered that the parasites developed in the stomach wall and were later stored in salivary glands of the mosquito.

Ross' scientific evidences were soon fortified by Italian biologists including Giovanni Battista Grassi , Amico Bignami , and Giuseppe Bastianelli , who discovered that human malarial parasite was transmitted by the actual biting disproving one of Manson's hypotheses of female mosquito. In they reported the infection of Plasmodium falciparum with the mosquito Anopheles claviger [12] However the practical importance of validating the theory, i. Hence in Patrick Manson clinically demonstrated that the bite of infected anopheline mosquitoes invariably resulted in malaria.

Thurburn Manson gave a detailed account of his malarial fevers and treatment after bitten by the mosquitoes. As he summarised, Manson's clinical trial showed that the practical solution to malaria infection was in:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Malaria Journal. Journal of Medical Biography. Soins; la revue de reference infirmiere : Nowadays everybody, young and old, should familiarize themselves with the growing eBook business. Ebooks and eBook readers provide substantial benefits more than traditional reading. Ebooks cut down on the employ of paper, as advocated by environmental enthusiasts.

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Life in the Lab: Working with malaria parasites

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