Describe the asexual and sexual phases of life cycle of Plasmodium that causes malaria in humans
Life Cycle of Plasmodium
• Plasmodium requires two hosts to complete its life cycle.
• When female Anopheles mosquito bites a healthy human being, it releases Plasmodium, which lives in its body as sporozoite (infectious form).
• The parasites multiply (asexual reproduction) in the liver cells and finally burst the liver cells. Sporozoites are released in blood.
• Parasites enter RBCs and further multiply (asexual reproduction) here and finally burst RBCs also.
• Bursting of RBCs is accompanied by release of a toxic substance called haemozoin (associated with fever and chills).
• In the RBCs, only sporozoites change into gametocytes (sexual stage). Gametocytes multiply.
• When the diseased person is bitten by a female Anopheles mosquito, gametocytes are introduced into the mosquito.
• Gametocytes fertilise and develop inside the intestine of mosquito to form sporozoites.
• Sporozoites are stored in the salivary glands of mosquito and are released into the healthy person who is bitten by this mosquito.
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