plasmodium falciparum

What is Plasmodium Falciparum?

Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite and the most deadly form of malaria for humans. This microorganism is transmitted via bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for up to 90% of all malaria cases and is the most deadly species of Plasmodium, causing over a million deaths per year worldwide.

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What Are the Symptoms of Plasmodium Falciparum?

Patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum typically exhibit two distinct symptom cycles. Each cycle includes several days of high fever, chills, excessive sweating, fatigue, headaches, nausea and vomiting. As the parasite progresses within the body, other symptoms can occur, including:

  • Anemia
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Cough and difficulty breathing
  • Confusion and other neurological deficits
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision

How is Plasmodium Falciparum Diagnosed?

Plasmodium falciparum infections can be diagnosed through a physical examination of the patient and a series of laboratory tests. These tests include testing blood samples for the presence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites and a CBC (complete blood count) to detect low levels of hemoglobin, which could indicate anemia caused by the infection.

Treatment of Plasmodium Falciparum

Fortunately, Plasmodium falciparum malaria can be effectively treated with the use of antimalarial medications. However, due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains, the parasite can be difficult to eradicate. Treatments will vary depending on the severity of the infection, but typically include a combination of antimalarial medications and supportive care such as IV fluids and oxygen.

Prevention of Plasmodium Falciparum

The best way to prevent Plasmodium falciparum infections is to avoid contact with infected mosquitoes. This can be done by avoiding areas with heavy mosquito populations, using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants and staying away from bodies of standing water. In addition, the use of antimalarial medications can help lower the risk of infection.


Plasmodium falciparum, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Malaria, Anopheles mosquitoes, CBC, Antimalarial medications.

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