Taxonomy: f. Plasmodidae
Animal: Plasmodium falciparum 1 23.jpg
Plasmodium falciparum thin film - note bird's eye nucleus. Irregular shapes of the parasite is not uncommon since the parasites have amoeboid activity but vivax is much more active than falicaparum. The nucleus of falciparum may appear curved, half circle, vary in size or have 2 or 3 beads of chromatin. These forms may be due to the film being dried quickly and fixed so arresting the organism during its movements before it can resume its resting state OR may be artificial from physical stresses during the spreading of blood. Bizzare forms can ocur depending on the strain, the humidity of the climate and hence the time of drying of the slide, use of anticoagulants, the hours through the parasite cycle, the immunity of the person and whether the person has commenced taking drugs. It is not wise to diagnose just based on observing bizarre forms and every effort should be made to look for classic forms. A mixed infection should be ruled out by careful examination of the slides. It is more common to see the vacuole as being very pale (due to loss of haemoglobin) in falciparum.
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