Half the world’s population lives at risk of infection from the Plasmodium vivax parasite that causes relapsing malaria. Each year, an estimated 8.6 million people suffer from this debilitating disease, with around 85% of the burden concentrated in just five countries: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan1.
Of the two most prevalent malaria parasite species, only P. vivax can lie dormant within the liver, hidden from standard antimalarial medicines, and reawaken at regular intervals causing the symptoms of malaria.
Research for new medicines to prevent relapse has lagged behind that to treat the symptoms of malaria. Tackling P. vivax can contribute to achieving both the Sustainable Development Goals2 and malaria elimination targets set by the World Health Organization.3