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IS 26/2/13 Malaria
How is malaria transmitted?
It is caused by a eukaryotic organism from the genus plasmodium. Plasmodium falciparum is the most
widespread. Malaria is spread through a vector. It is carried by the female Anopheles mosquito which
obtains it from an infected person and gives it to an uninfected person. These mosquitoes feed on
Their proboscis penetrates the blood vessel to withdraw blood, when they do this they inject their
saliva into the blood to stop it from clotting and this is how the parasite enters the human body. It
then moves to the liver where is it protected from any drugs used to fight malaria. It matures here in
the liver and then gets released into the bloodstream. The parasite will then infect red blood cells
and feed on the haemoglobin forming gametes, it asexually reproduces in the red blood cells and the
red blood cells then burst, releasing more of the parasite into the blood.
If the mosquito sucks the blood of someone who already has malaria, they will suck the parasite
gametes into its gut. Here the gametes fuse and the zygote will develop in the mother's stomach.
Infective stages are formed which moves in to the salivary glands of the mosquito and when the
mosquito bites an uninfected person, they will inject their saliva and the parasite as well.
How else is malaria transmitted?
Malaria can also be transmitted by unscreened blood transfusions or unsterilized needles. It is also
able to cross through the placenta from mother to child.
How is malaria globally distributed?
Malaria will mostly affect the poorer countries of the world, because these are the areas where
climate is perfect for the mosquitoes but to avoid contracting it medication is required to be taken
over a long period of time, but this can expensive.
Where the climate is better for the mosquitoes, malaria mostly effects Africa, South-Eastern Asia and
Who will mostly be prone to dying from malaria?
Children and pregnant women.
What are the clinical features/ symptoms of malaria?
Symptoms from malaria start to appear when is has matured in the liver and gametes are formed in
the red blood cells. Symptoms will include fever, nausea, headaches and diarrhoea.