A genus of protozoa that comprise the malaria parasites of mammals. Four species infect humans (although occasional infections with primate malarias may occur). These are PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM; PLASMODIUM MALARIAE; PLASMODIUM OVALE, and PLASMODIUM VIVAX. Species causing infection in vertebrates other than man include: PLASMODIUM BERGHEI; PLASMODIUM CHABAUDI; P. vinckei, and PLASMODIUM YOELII in rodents; P. brasilianum, PLASMODIUM CYNOMOLGI; and PLASMODIUM KNOWLESI in monkeys; and PLASMODIUM GALLINACEUM in chickens.