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Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by the parasite Plasmodium. Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Malaria is transmitted by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitos (called "malaria vectors") , which introduces the organisms from its saliva into a person's circulatory system. Malaria causes common symptoms including fevers, headaches, chills, and vomiting, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death if untreated. Malaria is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions because rainfall, warm temperatures, and stagnant waters provide habitats ideal for mosquito larvae. Because of these conditions, the disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in a broad band around the equator, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The World Health Organization has estimated that in 2012, there were 207 million documented cases of malaria. That year, the disease killed between 473,000 and 789,000 people, many of whom were children in Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and may also be a major hindrance to economic development. Despite a need, no effective vaccine currently exists, although efforts to develop one are ongoing. Currently, there are several medications that are available to prevent malaria in travellers to malaria-endemic countries. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs; for example, emerging resistance to artemisinin has become a problem in some parts of Southeast Asia. Cases of malaria around the world have increased greatly over the past five years. Of great concern is the fact that the parasite is rapidly becoming resistant to the drugs used for its prevention and treatment.

Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests. Modern techniques that use the polymerase chain reaction, a technique that is used to replicate DNA sequence - to detect the parasite's DNA have also been developed, but these are not widely used in malaria-endemic areas due to their cost and complexity. 

Source: World Health Organization

Malaria research at CERID is focused on drug discovery/development, immunopathogenesis, and vaccine research and development.