Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Malarial Parasites

  • Caroline Lin Lin ChuaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_1831-2

Five Plasmodium species have been identified as capable of infecting humans: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. knowlesi. There are differences in the clinical manifestations due to infection by each species. P. falciparum is the most deadly species, causing the majority of malaria-associated deaths in the world. It is associated with several severe manifestations of malaria such as cerebral malaria, placental malaria, respiratory distress, and severe malarial anemia. P. vivax was previously known as the “benign” malaria species, but recently there have been reports that this species can also lead to respiratory distress and adversely affect pregnancies. Individuals infected with either P. malariae or P. ovale generally demonstrate mild symptoms of malaria. However, some patients can remain as asymptomatic carriers, while very rarely, others may develop severe disease. P. malariaepatients who develop a chronic infection may suffer from nephrotic syndrome, which is...


Respiratory Distress Nephrotic Syndrome Malaria Parasite Cerebral Malaria Vivax Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital)The University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia