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Malaria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a red blood cell infected with Plasmodium falciparum protozoa. These protozoa (yellow) cause malaria. The red blood cell at upper right shows orange bulges caused by a Plasmodium invasion. The bulges contain merozoite plasmodia, which cause high fever when they are released into the blood. The disease is spread by bites from infected tropical mosquitoes (Anopheles sp.). The Plasmodia enter the bloodstream, and invade and destroy red blood cells. The lack of red blood cells leads to anaemia, and infected mis-shapen blood cells block blood vessels, leading to kidney failure, coma, and death. Magnification: x2600 at 6x6cm size.
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