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December 13, 1930

The Fourth Factor in the Etiology of Malaria: Its Relation with Anopheles and Its Particular Application to Malaria in Bengal.

JAMA. 1930;95(24):1858. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720240068038

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Abstract

The author's somewhat startling thesis is that the basic etiologic factor in the occurrence of malaria is the presence of an aquatic plant, Pistia (called water-lettuce in English). He tries to show that in Bengal every area having this plant suffers from malaria and every area without it is free from the disease. Furthermore, he asserts that he has been able to control malaria by removing Pistia and to introduce the disease into new areas by introducing the plant. The basic cause of the relation of Pistia to malaria is supposed to lie in the fact that the plant contains many needle-like crystals which are eaten by Anopheles larvae and which so damage the gut wall that later when the adult feeds on infected human blood the ookinetes of Plasmodium can penetrate the stomach wall and infect the mosquito. Many obvious objections can be raised to the author's conclusions and

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