Plasmodium vivax- Life Cycle in Man and in Mosquito


Plasmodium vivax is a protozoal parasite that infects humans and causes malaria, a life-threatening disease that is transmitted by some types of mosquitoes. It is the most common and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria, which means that it can cause repeated episodes of fever and illness in the infected person.

Plasmodium vivax is mainly found in Asia, Latin America, and some parts of Africa. It is believed to have originated in Asia, but recent studies have shown that it is closely related to parasites that infect wild chimpanzees and gorillas in central Africa.

Plasmodium vivax has a complex life cycle that involves two hosts: humans and female Anopheles mosquitoes. In humans, it undergoes asexual reproduction by multiple fission in the liver cells and red blood cells, causing damage to these organs and symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and anemia. In mosquitoes, it undergoes sexual reproduction by fusion of male and female gametes, forming a zygote that develops into infective sporozoites that can be injected into a new human host when the mosquito bites.

Plasmodium vivax is less virulent than Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite, but it can still cause severe disease and death, especially in children under 5 years, pregnant women, travelers, and people with HIV or AIDS. Plasmodium vivax can also form dormant stages in the liver called hypnozoites, which can reactivate months or years after the initial infection and cause relapses.

Plasmodium vivax can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and taking antimalarial drugs. It can be diagnosed by microscopic examination of blood smears or rapid diagnostic tests. It can be treated by a combination of drugs that target both the blood and liver stages of the parasite. However, there are challenges such as drug resistance, lack of effective vaccines, and limited access to health services that hinder the control and elimination of this parasite.