The evolutionary arms race: mass drug use and malaria parasites
The World Malaria Report, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022, reported that malaria still causes over 600,000 deaths every year. The parasite responsible for most of these deaths is Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria can be effectively treated with antimalarial drugs. However, the Plasmodium parasite is in a constant evolutionary arms race with antimalarial drugs, and rates of antimalarial resistance are on the increase. This makes eliminating malaria extremely challenging and is an alarming prospect for the future of malaria control.