Plasmodium Falciparum vs Plasmodium Vivax
When the protozoans are considered, it should essentially be stated that Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are problematic disease-causing parasites of humans. The two protozoans are well known for their notoriety about the danger that they can cause to humans. However, there are some important differences between Plasmodium falciparum and vivax, especially the severity of the caused disease. The severity could be well understood, when the lifecycles of the two species are studied.
Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite that causes the malignant form of the malaria disease. They easily transmit into the bloodstream of humans with the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes. The infective stage of P. falciparum is known as sporozoites. After the sporozoites being entered into the blood through veins, they travel to the liver and start multiplying asexually. After the multiplication, known as merozoites, they travel into the bloodstream and invade the Red Blood cells (RBC). With the invasion, merozoites are further multiplied to increase their number, which causes RBCs to rupture. This situation leads to show some symptoms such as fever and chills due to the repeated rupturing of RBCs. As of this stage, the bloodstream is full of infected erythrocytes and merozoites. After that, merozoites are divided into male and female forms in addition to schizonts. The male and female forms (gametocytes) are supposed to be taken by female Anopheles mosquitoes with a bite on the human. At the mosquito gut, each male gametocyte produces eight flagellated microgametes, which fertilize the female macrogametes to produce ookinete. The ookinete become oocysts, which are ruptured to produce sporozoites, and migrate to the salivary glands. This fascinating lifecycle describes their ability to destruct the blood cells of the humans, which is one of the main body systems to sustain life.
Plasmodium vivax is a parasitic species that causes benign malaria in humans. Their lifecycle is almost the same as the P. falciparum, but there are some characteristics in P. vivax. The sporozoite stage infects into the humans through the mosquito bite. They migrate into the blood of humans, enter the liver, and multiply asexually to produce merozoites. However, it should be noted that some of the sporozoites do not start to grow and multiply immediately at the liver. In fact, the inactive sporozoites would remain in a dormant stage known as hypnozoites. The merozoites invade RBCs in the bloodstream and rupture the erythrocytes. This rupturing is not as severe as in P. falciparum, since P. vivax merozoites prefer to invade the new RBCs only. The formation of gametocytes takes place, wait for the mosquitoes to take them, and fertilize inside mosquitoes. This journey of P. vivax continues to infect humans through mosquitoes until a sensible disturbance is caused.
What is the difference between Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax?
• P. vivax produces benign tertian malaria, but P. falciparum produces malignant tertian malaria.
• P. vivax lifecycle includes sporozoites that remain as hypnozoites, but there are no dormant stages in P. falciparum.
• In P. falciparum, merozoites enter new RBCs, whereas P. vivax merozoites can invade RBCs of all ages.
• P. falciparum causes more severe infection on human than the P. vivax does.