A brief illustrated guide to the ultrastructure of Plasmodium falciparum asexual blood stages

Parasitol Today. 2000 Oct;16(10):427-33. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(00)01755-5.


Interpretation of the new information arising from the Plasmodium falciparum Genome Project requires a good working knowledge of the ultrastructure of the parasite; however many aspects of the morphology of this species remain obscure. Lawrence Bannister, John Hopkins and colleagues here give an illustrated overview of the three-dimensional (3-D) organization of the merozoite, ring, trophozoite and schizont stages of the parasite, based on available data that include 3-D reconstruc-tion from serial electron microscope sections. The review describes the chief organelles present in these stages, emphasizing the continuity of structure in addition to specialized, stage-specific features developed during the asexual erythrocytic cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / ultrastructure*