QUESTION What is the mode of transmission of Malaria? ANSWER Malaria is transmitted normally via the bite of an infected mosquito. These mosquitoes, always female and of the genus Anopheles, carry malaria parasites in their salivary glands. The parasites, at this part of their life cycle known as sporozoites, are introduced into the host's blood when the mosquito takes a blood meal. From … [Read more...]
Life Cycle of Malaria
QUESTION Why does the malaria parasite first enter the liver? ANSWER The malaria parasite enters the liver in order to transform from a sporozoite (which can infect liver cells) to a merozoite, which is capable of infecting red blood cells. Both stages also include a proliferation step, but in the blood, the merozoites are also able to differentiate into gametocytes, which are then taken … [Read more...]
Malaria in Mosquitoes
QUESTION Why can't mosquitoes become sick of malaria? What do they have in their system that prevent them from becoming sick yet they transmit the disease to humans? ANSWER First of all, mosquitoes do get "sick" when infected with malaria, though not in the same way as humans. This is due to the major differences between human and mosquito physiology and also differences in the life stage … [Read more...]
Transmission of Malaria
QUESTION Why can the malaria parasite be transmitted from mosquito to human, but not from human to human (via blood)? ANSWER This is a very good question, and actually, malaria can be transmitted via human blood directly to another person, but this occurs relatively rarely! It has to do with the life cycle of the malaria parasite. When a mosquito bites a human host, it injects … [Read more...]
What are Gametocytes?
QUESTION What are Gametocytes? ANSWER Gametocytes are the sexually reproductive form of the malaria parasite. They circulate in the blood of the human/mammal host and are picked up by the mosquito when it takes a blood meal. Inside the mosquito, the gametocytes undergo sexual reproduction in the mosquito midgut, producing oocysts which attach to the midgut wall and produce sporozoites, … [Read more...]
Do Sporozoites in blood signal the end of prepatent period?
QUESTION Will the appearance of sporozoites in blood mark the end of prepatent period in malaria? ANSWER Actually, no. The presence of sporozoites indicates the start of the infection. Sporozoites are introduced into the bloodstream via the bite of an infected mosquit0. The sporozoites then have to make their way to the liver and infect hepatocyte cells, where they undergo … [Read more...]