Epidemiology of the zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi in changing landscapes

Pablo Ruiz Cuenca, Stephanie Key, Amaziasizamoria Jumail, Henry Surendra, Heather M. Ferguson, Chris J. Drakeley, Kimberly Fornace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Within the past two decades, incidence of human cases of the zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi has increased markedly. P. knowlesi is now the most common cause of human malaria in Malaysia and threatens to undermine malaria control programmes across Southeast Asia. The emergence of zoonotic malaria corresponds to a period of rapid deforestation within this region. These environmental changes impact the distribution and behaviour of the simian hosts, mosquito vector species and human populations, creating new opportunities for P. knowlesi transmission. Here, we review how landscape changes can drive zoonotic disease emergence, examine the extent and causes of these changes across Southeast and identify how these mechanisms may be impacting P. knowlesi dynamics. We review the current spatial epidemiology of reported P. knowlesi infections in people and assess how these demographic and environmental changes may lead to changes in transmission patterns. Finally, we identify opportunities to improve P. knowlesi surveillance and develop targeted ecological interventions within these landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent research on naturally transmitted Plasmodium knowlesi
EditorsChris Drakeley
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages62
ISBN (Print)9780323907279
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Parasitology
ISSN (Print)0065-308X


  • Deforestation
  • Emerging diseases
  • Land use change
  • Plasmodium knowlesi
  • Spatial epidemiology

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