Malaria is the most deadly disease in the world, and is a scourge on several continents, especially the African continent. Very often when it comes to determining the mode of spread of the disease, everyone agrees that the main cause of the disease is mosquito.
However, how is malaria spread concretely? What is its mode of transmission? That is essentially what this article will focus on.
The cause of the disease
What most people mistakenly believe is that malaria is due to mosquitoes. From a certain point of view this is true. However, if science is to be relied solely on, we quickly realize that the cause of malaria is much more complex than that.
Indeed, the causative agent of malaria is a unicellular parasite known as plasmodium. The life cycle of these parasites takes place essentially between the mosquito and humans. Injected into the human body, this parasite evolves in several successive stages. The sporozoite , which is the injected form of the plasmodium, reaches the liver in the first place. It multiplies in the cells of the liver and releases so-called menozoites into it, which insert into the bloodstream.
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Once at this level, they attack the red blood cells and turn into schizonts , which also multiply. The multiplication of these schizontes causes the blood cells to burst, resulting in the release of schizonts into the blood. Symptoms of these periodic bursts are cyclical accesses of malaria accompanied by strong fevers. Between the infestation of the blood cell and its burst, it can take between 48 and 72 hours .
This is how malaria manifests itself. It is therefore important to understand that mosquitoes are not the cause of malaria. However, if they are not the cause, they are the main carrier carrier.
This is done by the female mosquito (the only mosquito to bite) called “ anopheles ”.
The cells responsible for infestation of female mosquitoes are called gametocytes . These gametocytes, once in the digestive tract The development of the mosquito is transformed into reproductive cells, gametes. Then, when a female gamete is fertilized by a male gamete, it produces another cell that will develop itself into sporozoite (injected form of the plasmodium, seen above). These sporozoites then move to the salivary glands of the mosquito, from where they can contaminate a new individual at the time of the bite.
Thus, the anopheles mosquito is the main vector of malaria. Being the host of sporozoite who is responsible for this disease, he transmits it by bite from one individual to another. A single anopheles mosquito can therefore transmit malaria to several initially healthy individuals.
Malaria (as this article testifies) spreads from the anopheles mosquito to humans and only in this sense. This female mosquito vector of the disease contaminates a healthy individual by bite with the plasmodium housed in its salivary glands. This plasmodium after an incubation stage is the cause of malaria.