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Chapter 7 : Malaria, Another Fever Plague

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Abstract:

Malaria is a fever plague, and it has been said that this disease has killed more than half the people who have ever lived on this planet. Today, every 10 seconds a person dies of malaria—mostly children under the age of 5 living in Africa. Worldwide malaria infections are on the rise, and as the fever plague spreads, it will continue to affect us in the places we live, work, travel to, and fight in. The human malarias caused by Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae are transmitted through the bite of an infected female anopheline mosquito when, during blood feeding, she injects sporozoites from her salivary glands. All of the pathology of malaria is due to parasite multiplication in erythrocytes. The primary attack of malaria begins with headache, fever, anorexia, malaise, and myalgia. P. falciparum infections are more severe and, when untreated, can result in a death rate of 25% in adults. Complications of malaria include kidney insufficiency, kidney failure, fluid-filled lungs, neurological disturbances, and severe anemia. Mosquito transmission of malaria is dependent on a complex array of factors, including the incidence of infections in the human population, the suitability of the local anopheline population—density, breeding and biting habits, the availability of susceptible or nonimmune hosts, climatic conditions, and the local geographic and hydrogeographic conditions that contribute to mosquito breeding sites. The major threat of malaria today is not an increasing range of endemicity, but rather a rise in the intensity of antimalarial drug resistance.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Figures

Image of Figure 7.1
Figure 7.1

A Yanomami mother watches over her sick infant child dying from cerebral malaria. (Courtesy WHO/TDR/Mark Edwards.)

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Image of Figure 7.2
Figure 7.2

Laveran's frawing of what he saw under the light microscope when examining a drop of blood from a soldier with chills and fever.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Image of Figure 7.3
Figure 7.3

Ross' drawings of a mosquito stomach with oocysts (A), an oocyst bursting to release sporozoites (B), and a salivary gland with sporozoites (C).

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Image of Figure 7.4
Figure 7.4

The world distribution of malaria (prior to the eradication campaigns of the 1950s) and that of the sickle-cell and beta thalassemia genes. The geographic coincidence provided the suggestion that resistance to falciparum malaria might be of evolutionary significance and that the presence of malaria tended to maintain genes responsible for some deleterious blood diseases at higher frequencies in some populations.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Image of Figure 7.5
Figure 7.5

The worldwide distribution of malaria in the 1930s prior to the eradication campaigns of the 1940s and 1950s. From I. W. Sherman, Malaria: Parasite Biology, Pathogenesis, and Protection (Washington, D.C.: ASM Press, 1998).

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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Image of Figure 7.6
Figure 7.6

The inheritance of sickle-cell hemoglobin. The mating of two individuals with the sickle-cell trait (AS) produces three possible offspring: normal (AA), sickle-cell trait (AS), and sickle-cell anemia (SS).

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Malaria, Another Fever Plague, p 134-156. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch7
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References

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