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Bone Marrow and Hypnozoite-Independent Plasmodium vivax Malarial Recurrences

May 11, 2018 - 20:19 -- Miles Markus

As shown by the record of historical events listed in Table 1 in a recent review of biological concepts in recurrent vivax malaria, the question of a hypnozoite-independent, non-circulating origin(s) of recurrences was first raised approximately 7 years ago. (Link to the paper and Table 1 [click here]). More specifically, parasites in bone marrow as a possible contributing source are discussed in this 2018 article, the matter having initially been debated in a 2017 publication cited therein. The idea of bone marrow perhaps being an additional (to hypnozoites) origin of vivax malarial recurrences has now been mentioned by Obaldia and colleagues as well (2018, mBio 9: e000625-18). The importance of where, exactly, parasites occur in the body lies partly in the implications for the eradication of malaria.


Submitted by Miles Markus on

The spleen is also a likely source of hypnozoite-unrelated P. vivax recurrences. Although not reflected by the abstract, the matter of a splenic origin is discussed in "New Evidence for Hypnozoite-Independent Plasmodium vivax Malarial Recurrences" ( The subject of the spleen came up in this context last week at the P. vivax conference in Paris.