Oldest malaria strain ever discovered

Poinar was the first researcher to discover a 15-20-million-year-old mosquito called theCulex malariager. Preserved in amber, the mosquito was found in the Dominican Republic, once referred to as the “New World.”

“Aside from being the first fossil record of Plasmodium malaria, the fossil demonstrated that this genus was established in the New World at least 15 million years ago, thus putting the history of malaria in the New World in a different perspective,” notes Poinar.

Poinar also points to an analysis of an amber-preserved biting midge known asProtoculicoides, which is around 100 million years old.

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