Answer to Question #93659 in Biology for Kylie

Question #93659
Explain the replication cycle of Plasmodium falciparum.
Expert's answer

The infection of human begins with the bite of a vector mosquito from the genus Anopheles. Sporozoites from the mosquito salivary glands penetrate the blood of a person and, with a bloodstream, reach the liver, where they penetrate into hepatocytes within 30 minutes after the bite. Over the next two weeks, a proliferation of the parasite that occurs in hepatocytes results in the production of merozoites. Thousands of merozoites migrate from liver cells into the blood, invading red blood cells, where the next stage of reproduction takes place. The clinical symptoms of malaria, such as fever and chills, are associated with the damage of infected red blood cells. Some of the merozoites develop into immature germ cells - gametocytes. These gametocytes enter the mosquito during a bite. Inside the mosquito, male gametocytes produce eight flagellated microgametes, fertilizing female macrogametes. The resulting ookinete drills the intestinal wall and attaches to its outer side in the form of an oocyst. The oocyst erupts, releasing hundreds of sporozoites, penetrating the cavity of the mosquito and its salivary glands.

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