Malaria sporozoite (Plasmodium sp.), SEM

Malaria sporozoite (Plasmodium sp.), SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Malaria sporozoite (Plasmodium sp.) from a mosquito, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The sporozoite stage is an asexual reproductive stage of the malaria parasite in the Anopheles sp. mosquito. Sporozoites develop in the mosquito after the mosquito feeds on an infected human which contains malaria gametocytes. The gametocytes move to the mosquito gut wall where they reproduce asexually in an oocyst. The oocyst eventually bursts and the newly formed sporozoites migrate to the salivary glands and into the central salivary duct. As the mosquito feeds on humans the plasmodial sporozoites are injected in to a human via the mosquito's saliva. The infect liver cells and then red blood cells, causing recurrent fever, anaemia and even death. Magnification: x2,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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