Malaria is an infection that can be caused by a few different types of Plasmodium species which are single-celled parasites that gets spread around by mosquitoes, once the plasmodium gets into the bloodstream, it starts to infect and destroy mainly liver cells and red blood cells which causes a variety of symptoms and sometimes even death. Malaria is a serious global health problem that affects millions of people particularly young children under the age of five, pregnant women patients with other health conditions like HIV and AIDS and travelers who had no prior exposure to malaria tropical and subtropical regions are hit the hardest together. The most affected regions form the malaria belt which is a broad band around the equator that includes much of Latin America sub-saharan, Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. There are hundreds of types of Plasmodium species but only five cause malarial disease in humans and those are Plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium vivax, plasmodium malariae, osmo diem ovale and Plasmodium no se. Plasmodium vivax uses a specific urethra site surface receptor called the duffy antigen and some individuals, particularly those with sickle cell anemia lack this receptor meaning that plasmodium vivax can’t get into their cells, in other words having sickle cell anemia is genetically related to having relative protection from plasmodium vivax. Other diseases like thalassemia and g6pd deficiency make the parasite infected ureter site and more susceptible to dying from oxidative stress, so despite the obvious downside to having any of these diseases they do offer an upside when it comes to warding off a malaria infection, in fact because malaria has historically circulated in Africa, the genes underlying these diseases are thought to have conferred a natural selection advantage and therefore become more common in the genetic pool, now malaria starts when a plasmodium infected female anopheles mosquito hunts for a blood meal in the evening through the night like a tiny flying vampire, the mosquitoes drawn to carbon dioxide that gets breathed out as well as bodily smells like foot odor, at this point the plasmodium is in a stage of development called the sporozoite waiting patiently in the mosquitos salivary gland, when the mosquito pierces a person’s skin with its long and needle shaped tusks called the proboscis, the tiny worm-like sporozoites spill out of the mosquito saliva and make it into the bloodstream, within minutes the sporozoites reach the liver and mount an attack on the hepatic parenchymal cells where they start asexual reproduction. At this point the Plasmodium species vary a bit over the next one to two weeks, plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium malariae and plasmodium knology sporozoites multiply a sexually and mature into mara zou lights while host hepatic parenchymal cells die in contrast over the next few months to years.

Leave a Reply