Plasmodium

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plasmodium falciparum
plasmodium vivax
plasmodium malariae
plasmodium ovale
plasmodium life cycle
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Plasmodium is a genus of parasitic alveolates, many of which cause malaria in their hosts . [1] The parasite always has two hosts in its life cycle : a Dipteran insect host and a vertebrate host. Sexual reproduction always occurs in the insect, making it the definitive host . [2]

Merozoites rapidly (approximately 20 seconds) and specifically enter erythrocytes. This specificity is manifested both for erythrocytes as the preferred host cell type and for a particular host species, thus implying receptor-ligand interactions. Erythrocyte invasion is a complicated process which is only partially understood at the molecular and cellular levels. However, substantial progress has been made in identifying many of the parasite and host proteins that are important for the invasion process.