What are possible outcomes of Plasmodium falciparum (P falciparum) malaria infection?

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

The outcome of infection depends on host immunity. Individuals with immunity can spontaneously clear the parasites. In those without immunity, the parasites continue to expand the infection. P falciparum infection can result in death. A small percentage of parasites become gametocytes, which undergo sexual reproduction when taken up by the mosquito. These can develop into infective sporozoites, which continue the transmission cycle after a blood meal in a new host.


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