IGCSE Biology 3rd edition GCSE Biology 3rd edition

Plasmodium and Malaria

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Plasmodium and Malaria

The malarial parasite Plasmodium lives in the blood stream of humans. The Plasmodium divides repeatedly inside the red cell which eventually bursts, liberating dozens of new parasites into the circulation. Each of these can invade another red cell and undergo the same cycle. When thousands of red cells all burst simultaneously, releasing parasites and their accumulated waste products, the host suffers from a fever. This cycle of feeding, division and release is repeated regularly, so the fever occurs every 48 or 72 hours, according to which of the four species of Plasmodium has become established.

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