Malaria Patients Essay

Submitted By Sarra-Ullah
Words: 2400
Pages: 10

Issue Report: Malaria
The abstract:
This report will be exploring the cause of malaria, the symptoms that occur in infected people and the many treatments being tested and used to treat the disease of malaria.
Malaria is a disease caused by an infection of the red blood cells with a tiny organism called protozoa. There are four different types of species of the malaria protozoa (Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae) and each has a slightly different effect on the body. These organisms are carried from person to person by the main mosquito called Anopheles. When it bites an infected person, the mosquito sucks up blood containing the parasite, which may then be passed on to someone else when a mosquito bites them. ‘It is estimated that 300 to 500 million malaria infections occur annually and 90% of these are in the sub-Saharan Africa’. [8]
The problem:
Malaria is a biological problem because it affects the body, this could be through having various symptoms such as shivering and vomiting or it could result in problems with people’s red blood cells and cause them to be fragile and not functioning properly. The problem of contracting malaria is finding a cure for it or finding the right treatment to treat the infected person. At the moment biologists are trying to find a cure that will effectively work within the body and invent a new vaccine that helps boosts people’s immune systems so that they respond effectively to the treatment in order to treat the disease.

The biology behind the report: [1]

This picture shows the stages in which a person goes through if they have been bit with a female anopheles. This diagram shows that there are seven stages to this disease affecting the body.

At stage one a female anopheles mosquito carries the malaria parasite and bites an uninfected human. As the mosquito sucks the blood from the person the insect injects a substance called sporozoites which is the single cell form of the parasite. The next stage is called exoerythrocitic which means the red blood cells, but ‘exo’ means it happens outside the red blood cells. The sporozoites infect body cells but the immune system kills as much as they can and some aren’t killed and moved to the liver where they multiply and release merozoites which infect the red blood cells.

Stage three is when merozoites become schizonts in the red blood cells which means that the body looses water and because there isn’t enough fluid, blood pressure is lowered meaning vital organs don’t get enough blood. The damaged red blood cells can also cause severe anaemia which means the heart has to work harder due to insufficient amount of oxygen available.

Stage four consists of the schizonts rupturing and produces gametocytes (male and female forms of the parasite). This is the last stage that takes place in the host (human’s body).

Stage five is the stage where uninfected mosquitoes feed off the infected humans and ingest the gametocytes. The last stage called sporogonic includes the mosquito forming a zygote of the gametocytes and forms sporozoites which move to the salivary glands of the mosquito meaning that when the mosquito feeds off a human, sporozoites are injected into the human, starting the cycle again.

Methods/Processes of solutions:
There are many types of treatments for malaria but most depend on how severe the disease is and depending on the type of malaria parasite species that bit the person. At the moment malaria has no cure but the symptoms can be treated meaning preventing further symptoms to occur.

One method used to treat malaria is by prescribing the patient with anti malaria drug tablets. Example of drugs used is chloroquine which is used when the patient contracted the disease from the parasite P. Vivax, P. Ovale and P. Malariae. As well as taking these tablets the patient also needs to take primaquine which is a drug used to kill