Where is malaria most prevalent and how is malaria infection transmitted?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Malaria, which predominantly occurs in tropical areas, is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by infection with Plasmodium protozoa transmitted by an infective female Anopheles mosquito vector. Individuals with malaria may present with fever and a wide range of symptoms (see the image below). (See Etiology, Epidemiology, Presentation, and Workup.)

Malarial merozoites in the peripheral blood. Note Malarial merozoites in the peripheral blood. Note that several of the merozoites have penetrated the erythrocyte membrane and entered the cell.

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