Plasmodium falciparum

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Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite carried by female Anopheles mosquitoes. P. falciparum is responsible for 85% of malaria deaths around the world. The female anopheles mosquito transmits P. falciparum in human by introducing sporozoites into the blood stream. Anopheles mosquitos that don’t carry P. falciparum can pick up the gametocytes by feeding on the blood of already infected individuals. These become malaria mosquitos.

The female Anopheles mosquito transmits P. falciparum in human by introducing sporozoites into the bloodstream. These parasitic particles make their way to to the liver where they multiply rapidly and infect hepatocytes. Sporozoites divide to produce up to 30,000 daughter merozoites. The infected hepatocytes eventually burst and release merozoites which will go on to infect erythrocytes. Little by little, P. falciparum takes over the erythrocytes by modifying the cell membrane and its associated proteins as well as presenting camouflaged antigens on the surface of the cell.

The incubation period of malaria can last up to two weeks. Symptoms start to show in the host when the parasite reaches 100 million particles.

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