While other scientists sought to understand the
While Bayer’s skilled chemistsattempted to create a magic bullet to fight malaria, other scientists sought tounderstand the underlying mechanism of malaria infections.
They discovered thatthe species of malaria were unique to their own geographic regions of peopleand mosquitoes. According to many biological historians, “trade, especially theslave trade, allowed these microbes to spread across the globe” (Masterson, 17).In 1880, Alphonse Laveran, a French army doctor who examined the fresh blood ofinfected but alive soldiers, unknowingly captured the sexual stage of falciparum. Although he was unaware ofthe explanation at the time, Laveran witnessed gametocytes, of which he notedas “large microbes the size of the red blood cells,” that had swum to thesoldier’s surface tissue to be ingested by mosquitoes. In 1897, W. G. MacCullumnoticed the parasites in the blood of a sick crow fusing into an egg sac(Masterson, 21).
The first-year student at Johns Hopkins University’s medicalschool, in his paper presented to the British Association for the Advance ofScience, suggested that this might be the methodology for which malariaparasites procreate after being consumed by mosquitoes. Julius Wagner vonJauregg was a psychiatrist engrossed in utilizing infectious diseases,especially malaria, to cure different forms of mental illness. Surrounded byethical issues, his numerous experiments enabled him to differentiate betweenP. falciparum and P. vivax. He recognized that falciparum was deadly and advocated forthe use of vivax for malaria therapy.He also instructed other asylum doctors to use infected blood, instead of infectedmosquitoes, for the therapy. He explained that the mosquitoes introducesporozoites into the body, which could lead to relapses as P.
vivax had a dormant liver stage and canreactivate after a period of time without any precursor symptom (Masterson, 63).By using infected blood, however, syphilitics are only exposed to a onetimefever attack. After a myriad of experiments in the form of basic scienceresearch, the puzzle of the malaria parasite life cycle was slowly being assembled.