Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell
Figure 1. Biosynthesis of Artemisinin
Main symptoms of malaria
Artemisia annua
Laveran's drawing of various stages of P. falciparum as seen on fresh blood (1880).
Artemisia annua
The life cycle of malaria parasites. Sporozoites are introduced by a mosquito bite. They migrate to the liver, where they multiply into thousands of merozoites. The merozoites infect red blood cells and replicate, infecting more and more red blood cells. Some parasites form gametocytes, which are taken up by a mosquito, continuing the life cycle.
Blood smear from a P. falciparum culture (K1 strain - asexual forms) - several red blood cells have ring stages inside them. Close to the center is a schizont and on the left a trophozoite.
Micrograph of a placenta from a stillbirth due to maternal malaria. H&E stain. Red blood cells are anuclear; blue/black staining in bright red structures (red blood cells) indicate foreign nuclei from the parasites.
Ring forms in red blood cells (Giemsa stain)
Electron micrograph of a Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cell (center), illustrating adhesion protein "knobs"
Life cycle of Plasmodium
The blood film is the gold standard for malaria diagnosis.
Ring-forms and gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum in human blood
An Anopheles stephensi mosquito shortly after obtaining blood from a human (the droplet of blood is expelled as a surplus). This mosquito is a vector of malaria, and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence.
Man spraying kerosene oil in standing water, Panama Canal Zone, 1912
Walls where indoor residual spraying of DDT has been applied. The mosquitoes remain on the wall until they fall down dead on the floor.
A mosquito net in use.
An advertisement for quinine as a malaria treatment from 1927.
Deaths due to malaria per million persons in 2012
Past and current malaria prevalence in 2009
Ancient malaria oocysts preserved in Dominican amber
British doctor Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.
Chinese medical researcher Tu Youyou received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for her work on the antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Artemisia annua, source of the antimalarial drug artemisinin
U.S. Marines with malaria in a field hospital on Guadalcanal, October 1942
Members of the Malaria Commission of the League of Nations collecting larvae on the Danube delta, 1929
1962 Pakistani postage stamp promoting malaria eradication program
Malaria clinic in Tanzania
Child with malaria in Ethiopia
World War II poster
Disability-adjusted life year for malaria per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004
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Artemisinin and its semisynthetic derivatives are a group of drugs used in the treatment of malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum.

- Artemisinin

Plasmodium falciparum is a unicellular protozoan parasite of humans, and the deadliest species of Plasmodium that causes malaria in humans.

- Plasmodium falciparum

An extract of A. annua, called artemisinin (or artesunate), is a medication used to treat malaria.

- Artemisia annua

Artemisinin is extracted from the plant Artemisia annua, sweet wormwood, a herb employed in Chinese traditional medicine.

- Artemisinin

Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum, whereas P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria.

- Malaria

The recommended treatment for malaria is a combination of antimalarial medications that includes artemisinin.

- Malaria

Malaria is caused by apicomplexans, primarily Plasmodium falciparum, which largely reside in red blood cells and contain iron-rich heme-groups (in the form of hemozoin).

- Artemisia annua

Tu Youyou discovered artemisinin in the 1970s from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua).

- Plasmodium falciparum

The medicinal value of Artemisia annua has been used by Chinese herbalists in traditional Chinese medicines for 2,000 years.

- Malaria
Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell

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Antimalarial medication

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Antimalarial medications or simply antimalarials are a type of antiparasitic chemical agent, often naturally derived, that can be used to treat or to prevent malaria, in the latter case, most often aiming at two susceptible target groups, young children and pregnant women.

Incidence and distribution of the disease ("malaria burden") is expected to remain high, globally, for many years to come; moreover, known antimalarial drugs have repeatedly been observed to elicit resistance in the malaria parasite—including for combination therapies featuring artemisinin, a drug of last resort, where resistance has now been observed in Southeast Asia.

Practice in treating cases of malaria is most often based on the concept of combination therapy (e.g., using agents such as artemether and lumefantrine against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum infection), since this offers advantages including reduced risk of treatment failure, reduced risk of developed resistance, as well as the possibility of reduced side-effects.

It is derived from the plant Artemisia annua, with the first documentation as a successful therapeutic agent in the treatment of malaria is in 340 AD by Ge Hong in his book Zhou Hou Bei Ji Fang (A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies).