Malaria Is A Non Contagious Disease Caused By Protozoan Parasites Belonging
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1.0 Understanding Biology
Malaria is a non-contagious disease caused by protozoan parasites belonging to the Plasmodium genus. It is not spread from person to person in the manner that influenza or the common cold would be, and it is not sexually transmitted either. There are, according to the CDC, more than 100 species of Plasmodium parasites which can infect animals such as reptiles, birds and mammals. Four species have been recognised to infect humans in nature. In addition to this, there is one species that naturally infects macaques which has recently been recognised to be a cause of zoonotic malaria in humans. (CDC, 2012). These four species of Plasmodium parasites are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and…show more content… This cycle repeats itself; the merozoites invade the red blood cells, multiply or replicate and then rupture the cell. Each time this happens it causes chills, fever and sweating. Also, due to the destruction and depletion of red blood cells, this cycle could cause several complications and even death.
Red cells contain a special protein called haemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and then returns carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs so it can be exhaled (American Society of Haematology, 2015). Oxygen molecules attach themselves to the haemoglobin in red blood cells and therefore interfere with the circulation of oxygen and blood, causing the infected human to become anaemic. This lack of oxygen being circulated throughout the body and the muscular tissues result in the increased rate of muscle fatigue, therefore causing the infected human to feel tired.
After several asexual cycles, the merozoites repeat the process of erythrocyte invasion and instead of replicating; they develop into the sexual form of the parasite known as a gametocyte. The male and female gametocytes require the female Anopheles mosquito to become sporozoites. If an uninfected female Anopheles mosquito bites an infected human host, it will suck up and digest both the male and female gametocytes, allowing them to develop into mature sex cells called gametes. From this stage in the cycle, these gametes enter