Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria of primarily the macaque species of South East Asia. While it was known that human infections could be induced during the years of malariotherapy, naturally occurring P. knowlesi human infections were thought to be rare. However, in 2004, knowlesi infections became recognized as an important infection amongst human populations in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Since then, it has become recognized as a disease affecting people living and visiting endemic areas across South East Asia. Over the last 12 years, clinical studies have improved our understanding of this potentially fatal disease. In this review article the current literature is reviewed to give a comprehensive description of the disease and treatment.