What is the difference between schizont of Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum?
P. falciparum schizonts tend to fill up to about two-thirds of the host red blood cell, and contain 8-24 merozoites (see image below for development of schizont). However, schizonts of P. falciparum are rarely seen in peripheral blood; instead, multiple, smaller rings are the usual diagnostic sign. Characteristic crescent-shaped gametocytes may also be observed, though usually later on in infection.
P. vivax schizonts are large and fill up the entirety of the red blood cell with 12-24 merozoites, each containing visible chromatin and cytoplasm (see below). Their size and shape can differentiate them from the more compact P. ovale and P. malariae schizonts, though separating the former can sometimes be difficult.