We detected the simian malaria parasites Plasmodium knowlesi, P. cynomolgi, P. inui, P. coatneyi, P. inui-like, and P. simiovale among forest fringe-living indigenous communities from various locations in Malaysia. Our findings underscore the importance of using molecular tools to identify newly emergent malaria parasites in humans.
Certain species of macaques are natural hosts of Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium cynomolgi, which can both cause malaria in humans, and Plasmodium inui, which can be experimentally transmitted to humans. A significant number of zoonotic malaria cases have been reported in humans throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand. There have been only two studies undertaken in Thailand to identify malaria parasites in non-human primates in 6 provinces. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of P. knowlesi, P. cynomolgi, P. inui, Plasmodium coatneyi and Plasmodium fieldi in non-human primates from 4 new locations in Thailand.