FERGUSON, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FERGUSON, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Malaria infected red blood cell. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a infected human red blood cell (orange) surrounded by three normal red blood cells (red). Malaria is caused by the protozoan Plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. It enters the body and moves to the liver where it reproduces asexually to form the merozoite stage of its life cycle. The merozoites leave the liver cells and enter the bloodstream where they infect the red blood cells. The parasites again reproduce asexually and periodically break free from the cells to infect fresh cells. Infection causes the red blood cells to become mis-shapen and more likely to stick to blood vessel walls and cause a clot.
Model release not required. Property release not required.