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Plasmodium

From Academic Kids

Plasmodium
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Protista
Phylum:Apicomplexa
Class:Aconoidasida
Order:Haemosporida
Genus:Plasmodium
Species

Plasmodium berghei
Plasmodium brasilianum
Plasmodium chabaudi
Plasmodium cynomolgi
Plasmodium falciparum
Plasmodium gallinaceum
Plasmodium knowlesi
Plasmodium lophurae
Plasmodium malariae
Plasmodium ovale
Plasmodium vivax
etc.

Plasmodium is a genus of parasitic protozoa, four species of which cause malaria in humans. Other species attack birds or lizards. In 1898 Ronald Ross demonstrated the existence of Plasmodium in the stomach of the Anopheles mosquito. For this discovery he won the Nobel Prize in 1902. However some credit must also be given to the Italian professor, Giovanni Grassi, who showed that human malaria could only be transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes.

The four species of Plasmodium that attack humans are

The life cycle of Plasmodium is very complex. Starting with the cryptozoite stage hidden in the liver the parasite then invades the red blood cells as ring and amoeboid stages (trophozoites). Active parasites (merozoites) are produced which leave the red blood cells and travel within the blood to invade new red blood cells. After the merozoites infect new red blood cells, eventually the sexual stages (gametocytes) are produced (also in the blood), which are taken up by the female Anopheles mosquito and form zygotes which split to produce large numbers of tiny sporozoites. The sporozoites are the infective stage which migrate to the salivary glands of the mosquito where they are injected into the blood of the next host the mosquito bites. The sporozoites move to the liver where they repeat the cycle. The fever and chills of malaria are caused by the activities of the parasites in the blood breaking down cells and producing toxic materials. Because of the complex life cycle of these parasites it is difficult to develop a vaccine.


A plasmodium is also the macroscopic form of the unusual protozoa known as slime moulds.de:Plasmodien es:Plasmodium fr:Plasmodium sv:Plasmodium pl:Zarodziec

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