Plasmodium Vivax

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Protista

Phylum: Apicomplexa

Class: Aconidasida

Order: Haemosporida

Family: Plasmodiidae

Genus: PlasmodiumSpecies: P. vivax [19]


Figure 8: Plasmodium vivax, late trophozoite; magnification 1000x

Why does the organism belong in this Kingdom?

         Plasmodium vivax is a eukaryote, consisting of a nucleus and other organelles. [47] Even though this organism is a eukaryote, it does not mean it is multicellular. In fact, this organism is unicellular.  By the Plasmodium vivax being unicellular, it makes the function for the organism easier. It helps easily diffuse the toxins from the organism into the other organism. In addition, Plasmodium vivax consists of pseudopodia, and flagella to make the organism mobile in its host. This type of malaria needs to be able to move from one location to another, using the help of pseudopodia and flagella. Even though the organism always has flagella, only during certain stages does it have pseudopodia. [48] Plasmodium vivax starts off as a sporozoite.  Inside the human body, the organism reproduces asexually via binary vision, forming merozoites. Mature Plasmodium vivax will then  reproduce asexually, or sexually. This shows that the Plasmodium vivax is able to reproduce either sexually or asexually. [49] The Domain Eukarya that Kingdom Protista falls into, is different from Domain Bacteria and Archaea because all the organisms are eukaryotes. Furthermore, Protists can be either unicellular or multicellular. They have two ways of motility, including the use of flagella, and the use of pseudopodia. Organisms that are included in the Kingdom Protista also, are sexual and/or asexual. If the organism is asexual or consists of asexual they use binary fission. [4] Plasmodium vivax can only be classified into the Kingdom Protista because no other kingdom in Eukarya use flagella or pseudopodia for motility. The kingdoms Fungi and Plantae don’t even have a motility. [6] In addition, it can’t be in the Kingdom Animalia because the Kingdom Animalia consist of the organism to have a nervous system, which the Plasmodium vivax do not have.

General Description:

                         Plasmodium vivax is a parasite and a human pathogen. It is in the top 4 species of parasites that cause malaria. It is classified to be the most spread around the world malaria organism. It mostly occurs in the Asia Pacific region of the world. [50] Asia, South and Latin America, and in Southern Africa are the more common countries Plasmodium vivax could be found in. [48] Every year, 19-50 million people are infected with Plasmodium vivax. Furthermore, 2.2 billion people are put at risk to be infected by this pathogen, with the decreased amount of cases that had the Plasmodium falciparum, simultaneously with the increase of Plasmodium vivax. Plasmodium vivax is found in low levels of the blood and make it hard to detect if a person has this type of malaria. [50]

                         The Plasmodium vivax lives a certain life cycle. The life cycle begins with a female mosquito bite injecting sporozoites into the human host’s bloodstream. The parasite then has been transferred into the human host. From there, the Plasmodium vivax moves and invades the liver where they develop merozoites. The merozoites are reproduced asexually via binary fission. The merozoites leave the liver and invade the red blood cells where they reproduce again.  Sufficiently, the merozoites break out of the red cells releasing toxins and bringing the human body chills and fever characteristics of malaria. Eventually, some of the merozoites mature and become male or female gametocytes.  The organisms will then die unless they are picked back up by anopheline mosquito and the cycle would repeat itself on another host.  In the stomach of a mosquito, the gametocytes form sperms and eggs, fusing to form zygotes. These zygotes invade the stomach wall of mosquito, reproducing many sporozoites.   After this reproduction, the organisms move to salivary gland, to be inserted into another human. [49]

The video below explains the life cycle of the organism, and what the organism does to a human body.

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