Topics: Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium Pages: 4 (1245 words) Published: February 27, 2013
riMalaria 1

Parasitic Disease: Malaria
Brittany Jolicoeur
May 8th, 2012
Frost/ SB1 3U

Malaria 2
Parasitic Disease: Malaria
Malaria is a serious parasitic infection that is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes. The Plasmodium parasite that can cause malaria is neither a bacterium nor a virus therefore it is a single-celled parasite that multiplies in red blood cells of humans as well as in the mosquito intestine. C. Laveran in 1880 was the first to identify the parasites in human blood. In 1889 R. Ross discovered that mosquitoes transmitted malaria. Malaria is a serious global problem and there were 247 million cases of the disease worldwide, killing about 1 million people. Also, each year up to 1 million Canadians travel to malaria-endemic areas which results in approximately 350 to 1,000 annual cases of malaria in Canada. (Body and Health Canada, 2012). The life cycles of parasite Plasmodium is complex and involves two hosts, Anopheles mosquitoes and humans. The disease is transmitted to humans when an infected anopheles mosquito bites a person and injects the malaria sporozoites into the blood. An image that shows a mosquito taking a blood meal from a human is shown below. Sporozoites travel through the bloodstream to the liver, then mature and eventually infect the human red blood cells. While in the red blood cells, the parasites again develop until a mosquito takes a blood meal from an infected human and ingests human red blood cells containing the parasites. Then the parasites reach the Anopheles mosquito’s stomach and eventually invade the mosquito salivary glands. When an Anopheles mosquito bites a human, these sporozoites complete and repeat the Plasmodium life cycle. Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium vivax can complicate the cycle more by making dormant stages, also known as hypnozoites that may not develop for weeks to years.
(Parasites and Health, 2008)

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