How do mosquitoes get plasmodium?

Ah, mosquitoes. What would we do without them? Aside from causing incessant itching and irritation, they also have the ability to transmit a whole host of diseases – one of the most deadly being malaria.

But where exactly do these pesky insects get the parasite responsible for causing this disease? Let’s find out.

The Role of Female Anopheles Mosquitoes

Firstly, it’s important to note that not all mosquitoes can carry malaria. In fact, only female Anopheles mosquitoes are capable of transmitting the plasmodium parasite which causes malaria.

Feasting on Infected Blood

So how exactly do they get infected with plasmodium? Well folks, as it turns out, when an infected human or animal is bitten by a female mosquito seeking her next meal (which consists purely of blood), she sucks up blood containing parasites in various life stages.

Parasites Enter and Stay

Once inside her gut, they quickly begin their migration down into her midgut epithelium where they transform once more – this time into sporozoites (you heard me right)– immature forms that will eventually develop into adult-stage parasites ready for transmission to another host via saliva secretions.

Now here’s where things get interesting…the sporozoites love living in their mosquito hosts so much that they enter what is called salivary glands! It has been speculated that chemicals produced by these proteins could influence invasion efficiency%.

Transmission Through Infected Saliva

So now that our little friend has feasted on an infected blood meal and successfully harbored/cultivated/reared (just trying options) those cysts/schizonts/merozoites/microgametocytes/gametocytes/sporozooitesspelling within its tiny body^^^%, it’s time for transmission.

Picking the Right Victim

The mosquitoes then move on to their next victim and inject saliva into their bloodstream during feeding. This saliva contains a cocktail of molecules, some of which facilitate blood-feeding while others hinder our body’s natural immune response to mosquito bites.

Secret Surprise

And guess what else is in that saliva? Yep, you’ve guessed it – those sporozoites! They are quickly injected along with the other ingredients present in the liquid!


Well folks, there you have it – a brief but detailed summary of how mosquitoes acquire and transmit plasmodium. Next time those tiny vampires start buzzing around your head seeking out their latest meal coupon, just remember that they play an important role in transmitting this deadly disease. Now isn’t that comforting?

P.S: Do not call Mosquitoes ‘vampires’, they hate it.

F.Y.I: Sporozootites can remain alive within salivary glands for up to three months (days), depending on environmental conditions and host susceptibility.

%This hypothesis should be viewed as speculative until data are obtained supporting or refuting its validity.

^^^Make sure you don’t confuse hosts with the mosquitos here!

(A coupon for free blood meals)

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