Parasitology: The Study Of Parasites For Malaria

Satisfactory Essays
Parasitology is the study of parasites that causes various diseases in the tropics, subtropics and temperate climate areas. These organisms live outside of the host (Ectoparasites) and also within the host which are classified as Endoparasites. For instance, malarial parasites rely on survival within the host for their nourishment. Malaria causes the most deaths throughout the world. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there are 660,000 people that die each year from malaria, mostly in young children of Africa (CDC, 2014). That being said, it is important to know where malaria comes from and how the life cycle is and the malaria parasites that invade the human host.
The definitive host and the arthropod vector for Malaria is the female Anopheles mosquito. There are two life cycles which are the invertebrate phase and the vertebrate phase. In the invertebrate phase sexual reproduction occurs in the female mosquito tissues. After that occurs, macrogametocytes and microgametocytes are ingested along with the human blood. Then fertilization occurs when the microgamete penetrates the macrogamete and eventually forms the next developmental stage called the ookinete. The ookinete penetrates one of the epithelial cells of the gut wall which produces thousands of sporozoites. This would be the infective stage of the cycle. Sporozoites migrate to the salivary glands of the mosquito and are injected into the new host. Humans become the intermediate host of the parasite.
In the vertebrate phase of the life cycle, the malarial parasite enters the bloodstream of the host and travels to the liver. When it gets to the liver, it invades the hepatocytes and a period of cell division take place. This is where the asexual reprodu...

... middle of paper ...

.... Researchers found that 10% of the people that were tested had vivax malaria and among those people were Duffy negative (McNeil, 2013). The researchers discovered unknown genetic mechanisms that the P. vivax parasite could give other ways to attack the red blood cells and help understand how Duffy-negative people are becoming less immune to it. The researchers concluded that vivax malaria is “rapidly evolving” and “important genes” might have been missed that allows the P.vivax to become susceptible to even Duffy negative people (AAAS, 2014).
In conclusion, malaria causes the most deaths worldwide out the parasitic diseases known. The life cycle process is a rather complex process. Therefore, it is essential in understanding the concept of how the malarial parasite invades the human host and that P. vivax accounts for majority of the malaria cases.

Get Access