Taxonomy: f. Plasmodidae
Animal: Plasmodium falciparum 4 12.jpg
Plasmodium falciparum ring forms and gametocyte - very heavy infection in thin film. Gametocytes appear after 10 days of parasitaemia and remain in the blood for 2-3 weeks after the attack. Multiple rings (2-8) are common with falciparum, rare with malariae and only occasionally seen with vivax or ovale. The primary attack peaks at 10 days, then recrudesces every one or two months for 9 months. There are a number of strains which vary morphologically (West African strains tend to be small rings and schizonts with large chromatin and little cytoplasm c.f. India and Malaysia - marked distortions of the cytoplasm and chromatin), respond to drugs differently and have different degrees of clinical severity. Parasitaemias over 2 are usually fatal.
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