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Malaria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the merozoite form of Plasmodium falcipar- um protozoa (yellow) emerging from red blood cells. Of the 4 Plasmodium species that cause malaria, P. falciparum is the one most likely to cause death if left untreated. The disease is spread by bites from infected tropical mosquitoes (Anopheles sp.). The protozoa invade red blood cells, and multiply until the cell bursts, releasing more Plasmodia. The lack of red blood cells leads to anaemia. The accumulation of malarial pigment and masses of dead and damaged cells can block blood vessels, leading to kidney failure, coma and death. Magnification: x4000 at 6x6cm size.
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