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Plasmodium falciparum - Case from Timor 1999
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Mozzie Bite
An anopheles mosquito!
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Malaria Map - World sites


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Plasmodium
Plasmodium is a genus of protozoa, certain species of which cause malaria. The species that are known to cause malaria are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium vivax. These parasitic microorganisms are carried by the Anopheles mosquito and are transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. See also PROTOZOA. Copyright © 1998 World Book, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Diagnosis: Plasmodium falciparum
This is a malignant malaria and its cyclic paroxysms occur every 36 to 48 hours. Plasmodium falciparium rates second in prevalence and is chiefly a tropical species. Clinically, P. falciparum infections are the most serious of the four. P. falciparum inhabits nonenlarged red cells and the trophozoites form small rings with one or two red dots. The red cell membranes express new adhesive protein and adhere to the endothelial cell; red cell obstruction of the microcirculation in addition to hemolysis may be responsible for acute life-threatening symptoms.
Because of the sludging of schizont containing cells only early trophozoites and banana shaped gametocytes are present in the blood and their number may not always mirror the intensity of the infection. Thus, it is essential, especially with suspected P. falciprum, to examine both thin and thick preparations and not to accept the first negative report as final.



Malaria - WHO supported Events


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Parasite plasmodium


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Bone marrow

Plasmodium falciparum

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Falciparum malaria

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Life cycle

Life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum
The life cycle of all Plasmodium species is complex. Infection in humans begins with the bite of an infected female Anopheline mosquito. Sporozoites released from the salivary glands of the mosquito enter the bloodstream during feeding quickly invade liver cells (hepatocytes). Sporozoites are cleared from the circulation within 30 minutes. During the next 14 days in the case of P. falciparum, the liver-stage parasites differentiate and undergo asexual multiplication resulting in tens of thousands of merozoites which burst from the hepatoctye. Individual merozoites invade red blood cells (erythrocytes) and undergo an additional round of multiplication producing 12- 16 merozoites within a schizont.
The length of this erythrocytic stage of the parasite life cycle depends on the parasite species: 48 hours for P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. ovale and 72 hours for P. malariae. The clinical manifestations of malaria, fever and chills, are associated with the synchronous rupture of the infected erythrocyte. The released merozoites go on to invade additional erythrocytes.
Not all of the merozoites divide into schizonts, some differentiate into sexual forms, male and female gametocytes. These gametocytes are taken up by a female anophylean mosquito during a blood meal. Within the mosquito midgut, the male gametocyte undergoes a rapid nuclear division, producing 8 flagellated microgamtes which fertilize the female macrogamete. The resulting ookinete traverses the mosquito gut wall and encysts on the exterior of the gut wall as a oocyst. Soon the oocyst ruptures, releasing hundreds of sporozoites into the mosquito body cavity where they eventually migrate to the mosquito salivary gland.
Life Cycle
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plasmodium falciparum chromosome


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Falciparum Genome Project

PlasmoDB database

CDC drug


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Malaria genetics

Falciparum project


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Major cause of Malaria in Humans

Gene Sequence Tag project

Miscellaneous


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Chimiorésistance de Plasmodium Falciparum

Plasmodium Falciparum Infection


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Malarial Parasites in man

  •  Plasmodium falciparum The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology ITALIAN SECTION SOCIETY OF PROTOZOOLOGISTS 20th Annual Meeting, October 8-9, 1999 © 1999

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