D. FERGUSON, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY D. FERGUSON, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Malarial red blood cell. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through a red blood cell (centre) infected by the Plasmodium falciparum protozoan (yellow). Three uninfected red blood cells surround the infected cell. This is the merozoite stage of the protozoan parasite. It invades red blood cells after the sporozoite stage is injected into the blood by an Anopheles mosquito. The merozoites replicate and destroy the red blood cell, causing anaemia. They may then re- invade more red blood cells, causing the severe cyclic fevers of malaria. The infected red blood cells are mis-shapen and can clot to block blood vessels. Magnification unknown.
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