Taxonomy: f. Plasmodidae
Animal: Plasmodium falciparum 1 21.jpg
Sites: Blood
Plasmodium falciparum rings (delicate) but an occasional schizont and gametocyte was also present in this patient's blood. The incubation period is 8-14 days but can be up to 4 weeks. People with some immunity may have quite high parasitaemias before they develop symptoms. It is unusual to see schizonts of P. falciparum in the blood film except in very heavy infections as schizogony occurs in the capillaries of internal organs rather than in the circulating blood. Although at the tail of the film, red cells both parasitized and non-parasitized may be artificially distorted in shape, it is important to note that the parasitized red cells are not enlarged or mis-shapened unlike red cells infected with P.vivax. It is important to examine the margins around the tail as often parasitised red cells can be detected here.

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