Malaria Life Cycle Illustration

QUESTION What is the life cycle of malaria? ANSWER The life cycle of malaria is complex, involving a definitive host, or vector, which for human malaria is a mosquito of the genus Anopheles, and also a human host. Inside both, the malaria parasite undergoes several different transformations and reproductive cycles, which are detailed in the schematic below. You may also view a video of … [Read more...]

Malaria Life Cycle

QUESTION What is the life cycle of malaria? ANSWER Malaria is caused by a single celled organism in the genus Plasmodium. Five species of Plasmodium infect humans, but all follow a very similar life cycle, including two separate cycles of asexual reproduction in the human host (one in the liver, called the exo-erythrocytic cycle, and one in the blood, and specifically inside red blood … [Read more...]

Malaria Parasites Classification

QUESTION Where are malaria parasites classified? ANSWER The parasite that causes malaria comes from the genus Plasmodium, which is part of a Phylum of single-celled protist organisms called Apicomplexa. The Apicomplexans mostly posses an organ called an apicoplast, which is part of an apical structure designed to aid entry into a host cell. The Apicomplexa is split into two Classes, of … [Read more...]

Three Stages of Malaria

QUESTION What are the three stages of malaria? ANSWER The three parts of the malaria life cycle are known as the exo-erythrocytic cycle, the erythrocytic cycle and the sporogonic cycle. The first two of these take place in the human (or other mammal) host, while the third occurs in the mosquito vector. The below diagram, courtesy of the CDC, shows the complete life cycle of malaria in … [Read more...]

What is a Malaria Parasite?

QUESTION What is a malaria parasite? ANSWER A malaria parasite is a single-celled protozoan of the genus Plasmodium. These parasites have a complex life-cycle, which involves sexual reproduction in a mosquito vector, plus cycles of asexual reproduction and multiplication in a human host (or other animal - other primates, rodents, birds and reptiles can also be infected with … [Read more...]

Malaria Mosquito

QUESTION Which mosquito causes malaria? ANSWER It is important to note that mosquitoes do not CAUSE malaria—the disease itself is caused by microscopic, single-celled animals called Plasmodium. These Plasmodium parasites live and reproduce inside the mosquito, and when the mosquito bites a person, the parasites are transferred into that person's blood via the mosquito's saliva. If … [Read more...]