which malarial parasite is deadliest for humans, and why?
By far the most deadly malaria parasite is Plasmodium falciparum, as it is responsible for >95% of all malaria deaths every year. Most of these fatalities occur in young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
The causes for why P. falciparum is so deadly are still not fully understood. This parasite has the ability to cause infected red blood cells to become “sticky”, and therefore clog up small blood vessels called capillaries inside the body’s organs. This process is known as “sequestration”. Sequestration reduces blood flow to major organs, resulting in a variety of secondary conditions, perhaps the most famous well-recognized of which is so-called “cerebral malaria”, where oxygen flow to the brain is reduced and as a result of this and other effects of sequestration, impaired consciousness, coma and even death can occur.