Malaria, which has killed more people than those killed by all the war and all the plagues combined, is caused by a small protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium that resides within cells in the bloodstream to mature and avoid detection. There are four main species of Plasmodium that cause malaria. These species of the parasite infect humans and female anopheline mosquitoes at different stages in their life cycle. When an infected female anopheline mosquito feeds upon the blood of the vertebrate, the parasite is transferred through the saliva, into the body of the vertebrate host. Once in the bloodstream the parasite makes its way to the liver and then infects the cells in the liver and in the bloodstream.
Malaria is a vector-borne disease caused by the protozoan parasite, Plasmodium. It infects approximately 300 million people a year and is responsible for 1 – 1.5 million deaths each year. Though cases of this disease rarely occur in the US, they are still prevalent in developing areas of the world such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
There are 156 species of Plasmodium that are known to infect vertebrates. From that group, there are 4 main species that cause various forms of this deadly, yet preventable and curable disease in humans: Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax; Plasmodium ovale; and Plasmodium malaria, which can also cause malaria in certain species of apes that are closely related to humans. The main differences between the species of Plasmodium are the appearance (shape and size), the developmental stages of the parasite, the manner is which they infect their host, and the appearance of the blood cells that they infect.
Despite the difference between these species, they still target the sa...
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...cells in the liver and bloodstream. Using the protection of the cell and making proteins that cause the cells to stick the walls of the blood vessels to avoid being destroyed by the spleen, the parasite is able to stay one step ahead of the immune system of the host. In the blood stream the parasite uses the glucose need for cell process, lysis infected and uninfected blood cells, and release toxins to the blood streams that can lead to serious complications.
Mali, Sonja. "Traveler's Health: Yellow Book." Malaria. CDC. 26 Jul 2006
"Microbiology @ Leicester." Malaria. November 11, 2005. Leicester. 26 Jul 2006
"Malaria." Malaria. 29 July 2006. Wikipedia. 26 Jul 2006
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