Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell
Figure shows normal red blood cells flowing freely in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal red blood cell with normal hemoglobin.
Scanning electron micrograph of human red blood cells (ca. 6–8 μm in diameter)
Main symptoms of malaria
There is an immense size variation in vertebrate red blood cells, as well as a correlation between cell and nucleus size. Mammalian red blood cells, which do not contain nuclei, are considerably smaller than those of most other vertebrates.
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.
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.
Typical mammalian red blood cells: (a) seen from surface; (b) in profile, forming rouleaux; (c) rendered spherical by water; (d) rendered crenate (shrunken and spiky) by salt. (c) and (d) do not normally occur in the body. The last two shapes are due to water being transported into, and out of, the cells, by osmosis.
Electron micrograph of a Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cell (center), illustrating adhesion protein "knobs"
Scanning electron micrograph of blood cells. From left to right: human red blood cell, thrombocyte (platelet), leukocyte.
The blood film is the gold standard for malaria diagnosis.
Two drops of blood are shown with a bright red oxygenated drop on the left and a deoxygenated drop on the right.
Ring-forms and gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum in human blood
Animation of a typical human red blood cell cycle in the circulatory system. This animation occurs at a faster rate (~20 seconds of the average 60-second cycle) and shows the red blood cell deforming as it enters capillaries, as well as the bars changing color as the cell alternates in states of oxygenation along the circulatory system.
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.
The most common red blood cell membrane lipids, schematically disposed as they are distributed on the bilayer. Relative abundances are not at scale.
Man spraying kerosene oil in standing water, Panama Canal Zone, 1912
Red blood cell membrane proteins separated by SDS-PAGE and silverstained
Walls where indoor residual spraying of DDT has been applied. The mosquitoes remain on the wall until they fall down dead on the floor.
Red blood cell membrane major proteins
A mosquito net in use.
Affected by Sickle-cell disease, red blood cells alter shape and threaten to damage internal organs.
An advertisement for quinine as a malaria treatment from 1927.
Effect of osmotic pressure on blood cells
Deaths due to malaria per million persons in 2012
Micrographs of the effects of osmotic pressure
Past and current malaria prevalence in 2009
Variations of red blood cell shape, overall termed poikilocytosis.
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
no data

Hemolytic anemia is a form of anemia due to hemolysis, the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs), either in the blood vessels (intravascular hemolysis) or elsewhere in the human body (extravascular).

- Hemolytic anemia

Acquired hemolytic anemia is also encountered in burns and as a result of certain infections (e.g. malaria).

- Hemolytic anemia

The presentation may include headache, fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobin in the urine, retinal damage, and convulsions.

- Malaria

In the blood, the merozoites rapidly invade individual red blood cells, replicating over 24–72 hours to form 16–32 new merozoites.

- Malaria

Lipid rafts that have been implicated in cell signaling events in nonerythroid cells have been shown in erythroid cells to mediate β2-adregenic receptor signaling and increase cAMP levels, and thus regulating entry of malarial parasites into normal red cells.

- Red blood cell

Hemolysis is the general term for excessive breakdown of red blood cells. It can have several causes and can result in hemolytic anemia.

- Red blood cell
Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell

3 related topics with Alpha


Blood smear showing iron-deficiency anemia, with small, pale red blood cells.


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Blood smear showing iron-deficiency anemia, with small, pale red blood cells.
Main symptoms that may appear in anemia
The hand of a person with severe anemia (on the left, with ring) compared to one without (on the right)
Figure shows normal red blood cells flowing freely in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal red blood cell with normal hemoglobin.
Peripheral blood smear microscopy of a patient with iron-deficiency anemia
A Giemsa-stained blood film from a person with iron-deficiency anemia. This person also had hemoglobin Kenya.

Anemia or anaemia (British English) is a blood disorder in which the blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen due to a lower than normal number of red blood cells, or a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin.

Causes of increased breakdown include genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, infections such as malaria, and certain autoimmune diseases.

There may be signs of specific causes of anemia, e.g. koilonychia (in iron deficiency), jaundice (when anemia results from abnormal break down of red blood cells – in hemolytic anemia), nerve cell damage (vitamin B12 deficiency), bone deformities (found in thalassemia major) or leg ulcers (seen in sickle-cell disease).

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

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Most common enzyme deficiency worldwide, is an inborn error of metabolism that predisposes to red blood cell breakdown.

Most common enzyme deficiency worldwide, is an inborn error of metabolism that predisposes to red blood cell breakdown.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase

Most people who develop symptoms are male, due to the X-linked pattern of inheritance, but female carriers can be affected due to unfavorable lyonization or skewed X-inactivation, where random inactivation of an X-chromosome in certain cells creates a population of G6PD-deficient red blood cells coexisting with unaffected red blood cells.

People with G6PD deficiency are therefore at risk of hemolytic anemia in states of oxidative stress.

A side effect of this disease is that it confers protection against malaria, in particular the form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly form of malaria.

The human spleen is located in the upper left abdomen, behind the stomach


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Organ found in all vertebrates.

Organ found in all vertebrates.

The human spleen is located in the upper left abdomen, behind the stomach
A 3D medical animation still of spleen structure & exact location
Visceral surface of the spleen
Micrograph of splenic tissue showing the red pulp (red), white pulp (blue) and a thickened inflamed capusule (mostly pink – top of image). H&E stain.
The spleen contains two different tissues, white pulp (A) and red pulp (B). The white pulp functions in producing and growing immune and blood cells. The red pulp functions in filtering blood of antigens, microorganisms, and defective or worn-out red blood cells.
Thalassemia enlarged spleen taken after splenectomy
Laparoscopic view of a horse's spleen (the purple and grey mottled organ)
Spleen seen on abdominal ultrasonography
Maximum length of spleen on abdominal ultrasonography
Back of lumbar region, showing surface markings for kidneys, ureters, and spleen
Side of thorax, showing surface markings for bones, lungs (purple), pleura (blue), and spleen (green)
Transverse section of the spleen, showing the trabecular tissue and the splenic vein and its tributaries
Laparoscopic view of human spleen

The spleen plays very important roles in regard to red blood cells (erythrocytes) and the immune system.

It may be caused by sickle cell anemia, sarcoidosis, malaria, bacterial endocarditis, leukemia, polycythemia vera, pernicious anemia, Gaucher's disease, leishmaniasis, Hodgkin's disease, Banti's disease, hereditary spherocytosis, cysts, glandular fever (mononucleosis or 'Mono' caused by the Epstein–Barr virus, infection from cytomegalovirus), and tumours.

Splenomegaly can result from antigenic stimulation (e.g., infection), obstruction of blood flow (e.g., portal vein obstruction), underlying functional abnormality (e.g., hemolytic anemia), or infiltration (e.g., leukemia or storage disease, such as Gaucher's disease).