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Plasmodium malariae is a parasitic protozoa that causes malaria in humans. It is one of several species of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans including Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax which are responsible for most malarial infection. While found worldwide, it is a so-called "benign malaria" and is not nearly as dangerous as that produced by P. falciparum or P. vivax.
Plasmodium malariae causes fevers that recur at approximately three-day intervals (a quartan fever), longer than the two-day (tertian) intervals of the other malarial parasites, hence its alternate names quartan fever and quartan malaria.