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Malaria and Plasmodium ovale

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    12th Dec, 2020


A rare type of malaria, Plasmodium ovale, has been identified in a jawan in Kerala, during his posting in Sudan, where Plasmodium ovale is endemic.

What are the types of Malaria?

  • Malaria is caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, if the mosquito itself is infected with a malarial parasite.
  • There are five kinds of malarial parasites — Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax (the commonest ones), Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi.

What is the status in India?

  • In India, most dominant types are P. vivax and P. falciparum.
  • The high-burden states in India are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh

What are the features of Plasmodium ovale?

  • It is termed ovale as about 20% of the parasitised cells are oval in shape.
  • P ovale rarely causes severe illness.
  • Symptoms include fever for 48 hours , headache and nausea, and the treatment modality is the same as it is for a person infected with P vivax.
  • P ovale malaria is endemic to tropical Western Africa.