Did You Know That the Experimental Transmission of Malaria by Mosquitos Was First Demonstrated in Birds in India in 1898 by Sir Ronald Ross?

By John W. Harvey

Did you know that the experimental transmission of malaria by mosquitos was first demonstrated in birds in India in 1898 by Sir Ronald Ross? The previous year, Dr. Ross had identified the malarial parasite in the stomach tissue of an Anopheles mosquito that had fed on a human patient with malaria four days earlier. His research in birds provided a “more convenient” experimental model. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.

Figure. Blood film from an anemic barred owl naturally infected with Plasmodium elongatum (classified using PCR). Image provided by Dr. Sarah Bosch.

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