OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Malaria. Coloured Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of a slice through a distended, misshapen red blood cell packed tightly with malarial para- sites (Plasmodium sp.). Malaria is caused by single-celled organisms called plasmodia, which are spread to humans by certain tropical species of mosquito (Anopheles sp.). Once in the human body, the plasmodia spread to the liver and then to the blood, where they multiply inside red blood cells, bursting out when mature to re-infect other blood cells. The cyclical release of plasmodia into the blood causes bouts of intense fever that weaken the victim and can eventually prove fatal. Magnification x400 at 35mm size.
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