Protozoa is a taxonomical kingdom of single-celled eukaryotic organisms. They are capable of changing their shape so that they can engulf and digest cells and materials by a process known as phagocytosis . Most of the protozoa are said to be free-living organisms and are part of normal flora, living in seas, oceans and soil. Some protozoa develop a parasitic relationship with infected organisms and normally reside within the gastrointestinal tract. The most common function of protozoa is to break down organic molecules into smaller components. As a result of such ability, some protozoa can cause several diseases in humans. The common disease is malaria, caused by Plasmodium vivax. Malaria is a serious life-threatening disease that is caused by infection being transmitted through the bites of infectious female mosquitoes.
- ↑ WHO, Malaria Fact sheet N°94, March 2014.