Plasmodium Ovale: Uncommon type of Malaria

  • IASbaba
  • December 14, 2020
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Plasmodium Ovale: Uncommon type of Malaria

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health & GS-III – Sci & Tech

In news

  • A not very common type of malaria, Plasmodium ovale, has been identified in a soldier in Kerala.
  • The soldier is believed to have contracted it during his posting in Sudan, from where he returned nearly a year ago, and where Plasmodium ovale is endemic.

Important value addition

  • 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.

Plasmodium ovale

  • P ovale rarely causes severe illness and there is no need for panic because of the case detected in Kerala.
  • P ovale is very similar to P vivax, which is not a killer form. It is no more dangerous than getting a viral infection.
  • Symptoms: Fever for 48 hours, headache and nausea
  • It is termed ovale as about 20% of the parasitised cells are oval in shape.
  • P ovale malaria is endemic to tropical Western Africa.
  • It is relatively unusual outside of Africa.

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