Malaria

Topics: Malaria / Pages: 9 (2050 words) / Published: Mar 12th, 2013
Malaria
In epidemiology, a vector is any agent (person, animal or microorganism) that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism.
Malaria, and also know as Plasmodium Falciparum is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. It begins with a bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito, which introduces the protists through saliva into the circulatory system. In the blood, the protists travel to the liver to mature and reproduce. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in a broad band around the equator, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. The vast majority of deaths are caused by P. falciparum and P. vivax, while P. ovale, and P. malariae cause a generally milder form of malaria that is rarely fatal. The zoonotic species P. knowlesi, prevalent in Southeast Asia, causes malaria in macaques but can also cause severe infections in humans. Malaria is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions because rainfall, warm temperatures, and stagnant waters provide habitats ideal for mosquito larvae. Disease transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water. A Plasmodium in the form that enters humans and other vertebrates from the saliva of female mosquitoes (a sporozoite) traverses the cytoplasm of a mosquito midgut epithelial cell.
Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests. Modern techniques that use the polymerase chain reaction to detect the parasite's DNA have also

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