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how does plasmodium evade drug therapy in humans and birds?

asked in microbiology

Leohuberh answers:

Genetic variability of Plasmodium falciparum underlies its transmission success and thwarts efforts to control disease caused by this parasite. Genetic variation in antigenic, drug resistance, and pathogenesis determinants is abundant, consistent with an ancient origin of P. falciparum, whereas DNA variation at silent (synonymous) sites in coding sequences appears virtually absent, consistent with a recent origin of the parasite.


P. falciparum and P. reichenowi are not closely related to the other Plasmodium species that parasitize humans, or indeed mammals generally. It has been argued that these two species originated from a parasite of BIRDS.
More recent analyses do not support this, however, instead suggesting that the ability to parasitize mammals evolved only once within the genus Plasmodium.


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