The Life Cycle of Plasmodium

Life can exist in any form right from minutest microorganisms to huge age-old trees. For survival, organisms can depend upon so many different sources and can feed upon various things. Here we will talk about the life cycle of a Plasmodium vivax which is a parasite. Also, it is a human pathogen. Plasmodium vivax is basically a protozoan: It can also be called a protozoan parasite. We will study how this protozoan begins its life and ends up in a different organism. We will see how it spreads, what are the necessities of its survival, how it grows, how many stages are there in its life cycle, its complete life cycle.


About the Malaria Parasite

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. Plasmodium is basically a parasitic protozoan that comes from a family of apicomplexan which is of the class aconoidasida This parasite known as Plasmodium tends to attack the RBCs which are the red blood cells of any mammal like humans, reptiles, birds, etc. When we talk specifically about malaria and it's cause then Plasmodium knowlesi is that specific species of this parasite called Plasmodium which causes the disease named as malariAns: When a female anopheles mosquito which is infected by these parasites bites a mammal then there is the occurrence of malariAns: Let's have a look at some other species of Plasmodium which also are the cause of malaria


  • Plasmodium vivax 

  • Plasmodium malariae 

  • Plasmodium ovale

  • Plasmodium knowlesi


The life cycle of this parasite is quite complex, it completes its life using mosquito or in other words, it uses mosquito as a carrier or catalyst to carry the disease and transmit it as well.


Life Cycle of Malaria Parasite

This malaria parasite called Plasmodium completes its life cycle in three stages namely Gametocytes which is the first stage then sporozoites which is the second stage and lastly merozoites which is the third and final stage. It has a very complex life cycle. We are going to study it in detail.


Stages in the Life Cycle of Plasmodium

There are three stages in the life cycle of a Plasmodium 


The first stage is called as gametocytes


  • Gametocytes 

Gametocyte is the first stage in the life cycle of Plasmodium.

The female gametophyte is called microgametocytes while male gametocyte is called microgametocyte. These microgametocytes and microgametocytes undergo fertilization inside the anopheles mosquito. The mating of gametocytes inside the anopheles mosquito later develops into a sporozoite. It takes around 15-18 days for the formation of a sporozoite. Sporozoite is a parasite.


  • Sporozoites

Sporozoite is stage two in the life cycle of Plasmodium.

An anopheles mosquito which is infected by the sporozoite when bites a human there's transmission of sporozoites from the mosquito into the bloodstream of humans. After sporozoites have entered the bloodstream they tend to enter into the liver cells of humans. Sporozoites enter the liver cell and here they grow into schizonts as they multiply asexually. These rupture the liver cells in order to release merozoites.


  • Merozoites

Merozoites from the liver cells are released into the vesicles. From the heart, these merozoites travel to the lungs and settle themselves in the lung capillaries. The disintegration of vesicles occurs and merozoites enter the blood phase which is a phase in their development.


While traveling in the bloodstream merozoites tend to attack the red blood cells also called the erythrocytes. They keep on multiplying in the red blood cell till the cell bursts.

When an infected human is bitten by a mosquito, there is ingestion of gametocytes by the mosquito and later these gametocytes develop into mature gametes.


The female gamete which is fertilized develops into ookinetes which further develop into oocysts and settle onto the outer or the exterior surface.


Thousands of active sporozoites develop inside this oocyst. Eventually, the oocyst bursts resulting in the release of sporozoites that travel to the salivary gland of the mosquito when they bite an infected human.


And this way once again the cycle of infection of humans through malaria begins when the infected mosquito bites another person.


And this way the cycle of Plasmodium completes in two organisms.


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Through this diagram representing the entire life cycle of the Plasmodium, we can easily understand how this parasite completes its life using two organisms. In the figure above we can easily distinguish the life cycle of Plasmodium in a human and life cycle of Plasmodium in a mosquito.


Life Cycle of Human 

The human life cycle begins as a single cell barely visible to the eye . Programmed by the genes it has inherited, the speck of life divides and multiplies to form a mass of cells and a new human body begins to grow .We continue growing and developing for around 20 years by which time we are old enough to have babies ourselves. Like all living things from the tiniest virus to the tallest trees,  human beings strive to create offspring before growing  old -a process known as reproduction. Like most other animals human beings reproduce sexually which means the two parents are needed to create offspringg.  sexual reproduction mixes of the genes from both parents doing so combines characteristics from both parents and makes every child uniquee .the parents produce special cells called sex cells. male and female sex cells fuse inside the Mother's body to form an embryo .over the following 9 months in the protective environment of mothers uterus the embryo develops into a baby. 


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How a New Life begins.

Life starts as a single cell about half as wide as a full stop. Organized by the genes and nourished by its mother's body this small particle of life soon transforms into a different human being made of trillions of cells. a new life begins when two sex cells join and pool their genes together .male sex cells called sperm from the father and female sex cells called eggs from Mother join  to form an embryo after fertility. In fact the first few days and embryo looks nothing like a human body but by four weeks it has a head, the beginnings of eyes, arms and legs and its heart has started beating.

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FAQs on Plasmodium Life Cycle

1. How sex cells are formed in human being?

Sex cells are produced by a special kind of cell division called meiosis .during meiosis genes are shuffle about between chromosome and the total number of chromosomes is halved.


  • Normal cells have two sets of chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father. before meiosis each chromosome copies itself forming an X shape.

  • the cell nucleus disappears. maternal (mother)and paternal (father)chromosomes pair up and swap sections randomly .

  • Fine Threads called microtubules attached to the chromosomes and pull each pair apart. the cell starts to divide.

  • two cells each with half the original number of chromosomes are formed.

  • the cell separated again. Each double chromosome develops into  two single chromosomes.

  • there are now 4 sex cells each with a unique combination of genes and half the normal number of chromosomes. When two sex cells join the full number of chromosomes is restored.

2. How is the life of an embryo in mothers womb before birth?

Although we can't remember the period of life before birth our brains and sense organs has already started working .in the late stages of pregnancy an Unborn baby can see the glow of light through its mother skin and can hear her voice in the surroundings.It can also hear the  Heartbeat and the sound  of liquid in the uterus .using its hands and feet it explores the watering world around it and feel its own body. It can breathe in mothers womb for  nine months which  provides a comfortable ,safe and livable environment.All the nutrients including oxygen  required are supplied by  the Mother's bloodstream .

3.How is the life cycle of a baby(fetus)in mothers womb?

Life cycle in the womb.


Nourished by its mother blood and protected by her body, anUnborn baby develops rapidly inside the womb doubling in weight every four to five weeks .all the major organs appear during the first 9 weeks of life in the developing baby is known as embryo .from 9 weeks onwards it is called a fetus over the next seven month fetus grow rapidly.complex tissues and body systems form strengthen and begin to work .A skeleton is laid down, made at first of the rubbery cartilage tissue instead of bone. The brain develops and so do the senses -a fetus can see, hear, smell, taste and feel long before it's gone.

4. Why does human life end?

The human body is not made to last forever. In later life, many organs go into decline and the risk of diseases such as cancer Rises .Thanks to advances in medicine ,hygiene and diet, however , average life expectancy is elevated today than It has ever been and is still Rising. average life expectancy varies  greatly around the world and it is correlated with the health and wealth of a nation.


5.How does the human body change throughout life?

The human body changes continuously throughout life in the first 18 years. A person evolves from a helpless  newborn needing its parents for survival to an independent adult capable of raising his or her own children. In their adulthood men and women are in their physical Prime. From the mid 30s onwards however the body slowly begins to decline .The rate of deterioration varies widely from person to person and depends on Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise as well as genes.



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