Plasmodium falciparum plasmodial trophozoite (young trophozoite stage) infecting an erythrocyte (red blood cell), coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). The trophozoite stage has a distinct parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (blue) that surrounds the parasite outer membrane (yellow). The trophozoite cytoplasm contains a nucleus (steel blue) with nucleolus (blue), a mitochondrion (red), ribosomes (purple) and food vacuole with ingested haemoglobin (brown). Malaria is caused by Plasmodium spp., protozoa. It is spread to humans by Anopheles species mosquitoes. The plasmodial parasite reproduces asexually in red blood cells significantly destroying many of them. Release of mature Plasmodium merozoites results in further infection and produces bouts of shivering fever (paroxysms) and sweating that may be fatal. Magnification: x4,920 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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