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Until World War II the only clinical phenotype of Plasmodium vivax generally recognised in medicine was one associated with either a long (8-9 months) incubation period or a similarly long interval between initial illness and the first relapse. Long-latency P. vivax 'strains' were the first in which relapse, drug resistance and pre-erythrocytic development were described. They were the infections in which primaquine radical cure dosing was developed. A long-latency 'strain' was the first to be fully sequenced. Although long-latency P. vivax is still present in some parts of Asia, North Africa and the Americas, in recent years it has been largely forgotten.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Publication Date



Mahidol Oxford Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.