Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 (Pfa)

Plasmodium falciparum is a unicellular protozoan parasite of humans, and the deadliest species of Plasmodium that cause malaria in humans. It is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. It is responsible for roughly 50% of all malaria cases. It causes the disease's most dangerous form called falciparum malaria. It is therefore regarded as the deadliest parasite in humans, causing a conservative estimate of one million deaths every year. It is also associated with the development of blood cancer (Burkitt's lymphoma) and is classified as Group 2A carcinogen.

The species originated from the malarial parasite Laverania found in gorillas, around 10,000 years ago. Alphonse Laveran was the first to identify the parasite in 1880, and named it Oscillaria malariae. Ronald Ross discovered its transmission by mosquito in 1897. Giovanni Battista Grassi elucidated the complete transmission from a female anopheline mosquito to humans in 1898. In 1897, William H. Welch created the name Plasmodium falciparum, which ICZN formally adopted in 1954. P. falciparum assumes several different forms during its life cycle. The human-infective stage are sporozoites from the salivary gland of a mosquito. The sporozoites grow and multiply in the liver to become merozoites. These merozoites invade the erythrocytes (RBCs) to form trophozoites, schizonts and gametocytes, during which the symptoms of malaria are produced. In the mosquito, the gametocytes undergo sexual reproduction to a zygote, which turns into ookinete. Ookinete forms oocyts from which sporozoites are formed.

As of the latest World Malaria Report of the World Health Organization, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015. This resulted in an estimated 445,000 deaths. Almost every malarial death is caused by P. falciparum, and 91% of death occurs in Africa. Children under five years of age are most affected, accounting for two-third of the total deaths. In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 75% of cases were due to P. falciparum, whereas in most other malarial countries, other, less virulent plasmodial species predominate.

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Sequences (5460)