What everyone should know about Malaria

The Players
Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria causing
parasite. www.celtnet.org.uk/medicine/malaria.ph

Anopheles gambiae, female mosquito. Malaria's vector for transmission.
www.wikipedia.org photo from:www.celtnet.org.uk/medicine/malaria.ph

Malaria is caused by a Protozoan parasite called Plasmodium falciparum, and by three other types of parasite; P. vivax, P. ovale, P malariae. P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most fatal. The parasite has two hosts humans and by the female mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Only the Anopheles mosquito can carry the parasite and serves as a vector. The Anopheles mosquito will bite an infected person carrying the parasite and take in the microscopic parasite with the small amount of blood the mosquito ingests (wikipedia.org). The mosquito carries the parasite for 10-18 days where it goes into the sporozoites phase of it’s life cycle, it lives in the salivary glands of the Anopheles. When the mosquito takes on its next meal the sporozoites are injected into the next human (cdc.gov/malaria).

Malaria's Life Cycle

The sporozoites travels from the site of injection to the liver, where they infect liver cells and develop into schizonts, these liver cells will rupture and the parasite is in it’s new phase, merozoites. The merozoites then infect the red blood cells where they undergo asexual reproduction (dpd.cdc.gov).


Image from: http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/hTML/ImageLibrary/Malaria_il.htm

Click me to Whatch the Movie!
Parasite Home Page