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Malaria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the gametocyte form (yellow) of the Plas- modium falciparum protozoa with 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 gametocyte is a sexual cell released by an infected red blood cell. If male & female gametocytes are consumed by a tropical mosquito (Anopheles sp.) during a blood meal, they will infect it, mate & create sporozoites that can infect people that the mosquito later feeds on. Plasmodia invade & kill red blood cells, causing anaemia, blocked blood vessels, kidney failure, coma & death. Magnification: x2000 at 6x6cm size.
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