Malaria Parasites’ Biological Clocks Coordinate Cell Destruction
Published:14 Jun.2020    Source:The Scientist

Two studies show that Plasmodium—the genuses of protozoans that cause malaria—have an internal sense of time that synchronizes with their host’s circadian rhythms and allows the parasites to collectively attack blood cells.


During a malaria infection, countless Plasmodium parasites simultaneously destroy the red blood cells they’ve inhabited. This destruction causes a wave of fever and chills in the infected person that happens predictably every 24, 48, or 72 hours, depending upon which strain of the parasite is causing the infection.