Name the protozoan which causes malaria

The protozoan which causes malaria is called Plasmodium. There are four species of protozoan that causes malaria:

  • P falciparum
  • P vivax
  • P ovale
  • P malariae

The transmission of the malaria parasite is carried out by female Anopheles mosquitoes which bite usually during the dusk and dawn.

Following is the life cycle of malaria:

  • When an infect female Anopheles mosquito bites a person, the mosquito injects the parasite to the bloodstream which is known as Plasmodium which is in the form of sporozoites.
  • These sporozoites pass into the human liver quickly.
  • The sporozoites take 7 to 10 days for their multiplication through asexual reproduction and during this period there are no signs of symptoms seen.
  • The next form of the parasite in the human body is known as merozoites which are released from the liver cells to the lung capillaries where they enter the bloodstream.
  • Once they are spread throughout the bloodstream, they start attacking the red blood cells. This goes until the cell bursts and every time the cell bursts, there is a multiplication of merozoites.
  • Sexual reproduction also takes place within the bloodstream and these are known as gametocytes.
  • When a mosquito bites an infected person, gametocytes are ingested and more mature cells are formed which are known as gametes.
  • And the fertilized female gametes carry on the process.

This is the life cycle of malaria and the cycle continues every time a mosquitoes bites a person.

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