Caption: Malaria sporozoite (Plasmodium sp.) from a mosquito. The sporozoite stage is an asexual reproductive stage of the malaria parasite in the Anopheles sp. mosquito. Sporozoites develop in the mosquito after the mosquito feeds on an infected human which contains malaria gametocytes. The gametocytes move to the mosquito gut wall where they reproduce asexually in an oocyst. The oocyst eventually bursts and the newly formed sporozoites migrate to the salivary glands and into the central salivary duct. As the mosquito feeds on humans the plasmodial sporozoites are injected in to a human via the mosquito's saliva. The female Anopheles mosquito passes the plasmodium sporozoites to a human, infecting liver cells and then red blood cells. Malaria plasmodial stages invade human red blood cells, causing recurrent fever, anemia and even death. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium sp., parasitic single-celled protozoans called plasmodia. Malaria is spread to humans by species of tropical mosquitoes (Anopheles species). Infection spreads from the liver to the blood, where the plasmodium multiplies inside red blood cells. The plasmodial parasite reproduces asexually in the red blood cells significantly destroying many red blood cells. There are four stages of the parasite that develop in human red blood cells - merozoite stage, ring stage, trophozoite stage and schizont stage. Release of mature Plasmodium merozoites results in further infection and produces bouts of shivering fever (paroxysms) and sweating that may be fatal.
Magnification*: x2,400
Type: SEM
Copyright 2008 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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