The disease named as malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite, Plasmodium. This disease is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito. This video illustrates the lifecycle of Plasmodium. Plasmodium requires two hosts to complete its lifecycle. The sexual phase of its lifecycle occurs inside the body of the female Anopheles mosquito while the asexual phase occurs inside the human body. When an infected mosquito bites a person, it injects the sporozoites of the parasite into the person. These sporozoites then migrate to the liver cells. In the liver cells, the sporozoites divide repeatedly to form merozoites. These merozoites then rupture the liver cells and invade the RBCs. In the RBCs, some of the merozoites give rise to gametes while the others divide rapidly and rupture the RBCs. The merozoites then release a toxin that causes the fever and chills characteristic to malaria. Those merozoites that form gametes do not rupture the RBCs but remain inside them. When a mosquito bites the infected person, these gametes enter the mosquito’s intestine. In the intestine, the gametes fuse to form a zygote. This zygote divides to give rise to sporozoites. These sporozoites then migrate to mosquito’s salivary gland from where they are again injected into a healthy person when the mosquito bites.
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