Monday, February 14, 2005

Animal of the Week Ferbuary 14, 2005 -- The most dangerous animal in the world

This weeks animal is the most deadly of all the animals, but it also pretty small. Human malaria is cause by four different species in the genus Plasmodium. Plasmodium falciparum is the most dangerous of these species. There are upwards of 300 million cases of malaria (~5% of the world's population) and in excess of 2 million malaria deaths each year. The picture here is of a macrogametocyte among some human blood vessels. The male and female Plasmodium gametocytes are taken up by female mosquitos when they drink human blood, there the males parasites fertilise the females, progeny develop, and these then migrate to the mosquito's salivary glands... etc etc etc


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