Biology 625
Fall semester lecture note outline

Updated: 18 March 2005

The text below simply represents a crude lecture outline of one of the topics covered in class. It is not meant to substitute for attending lectures or ignoring the textbook. Additional material, including line drawings, kodachromes, and more extensive information on life-cycles and basic biology, will be supplied in the lectures.

TOPIC 34. Haemosporinids (malaria)

ague (middle English, originally old French, "ague" means "sharp fever")
malaria (from the early italians, meaning "bad air")
paludisme (latin root "paludosum" means "swampy" or "marshy")
paroxysm (sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of disease)

  1. macrogametes and microgamonts develop independently
  2. syzygy absent
  3. microgametocyte produces 8 flagellated microgametes
  4. zygote motile (ookinete)
  5. conoid present in ookinete stage only
  6. sporozoites naked in oocyst (without sporocysts)
  7. heteroxenous, with merogony and gamogony in vertebrate host and fertilization and sporogony in definitive host (blood sucking insect)
  8. hemozoin pigment produced in some genera
  9. all 10 genera within the single family Plasmodiidae
  10. genera distinguished by structure of erythrocytic stages, type of endogenous development in tissues, and the type of vector employed
    1. Haemoproteus
      1. gamonts in erythrocytes
      2. merogony in endothelial cells of blood vessels, especially in lungs; no erythrocytic merogony
      3. hemozoin produced
      4. vectors hippoboscid flies, gnats, and tabanids
      5. vertebrate hosts birds, reptiles, and amphibia
      6. about 160 named species
    2. Leukocytozoon
      1. gamonts in leukocytes and/or erythrocytes
      2. merogony in visceral organs; no erythrocytic merogony
      3. hemozoin absent
      4. vectors blackflies or gnats
      5. vertebrate hosts birds
      6. about 60 named and valid species
    3. Plasmodium
      1. gamonts in erythrocytes
      2. merogony in erythrocytes and in other tissues
      3. hemozoin present
      4. vectors mosquitos or sandflies
      5. vertebrate hosts include mammals, birds, reptiles
      6. about 180 named species
    4. You will not be tested over the following genera: Dionisia (in bats); Hepatocystis (bats, monkeys, hippopotami, squirrels); Mesnilium (in fish); Nycteria (in bats), Polchromophilus (in bats); Rayella (flying squirrels); Saurocytozoon (reptiles)
  11. some malarias are relapsing malarias, where dormant sporozoites (hypnozoites) or merozoites (cryptozoites) may re-inititate infections when immunity wanes
  12. typical Plasmodium sp life-cycle
    1. sporozoites enter wound with bite of vector; in this case mosquitos
    2. to liver (some sporozoites of some species may remain dormant to initiate infections when immunity wanes. Termed hypnozoites).
    3. undergo 1-2 asexual (merogonous) generations (exoerthrocytic cycle)
    4. merozoites liberated (some may remain dormant to initiate infections later when immunity wanes. Termed cystozoites).
    5. enter erythrocytes
    6. undergo merogony (erythrocytic cycle)
    7. merozoites rupture from meront (also termed a segmenter or schizont) and initate new infection in new erythrocyte
    8. some malarias have merogonous cycles that become synchronized; typically 48-72 hour cycles
    9. some merozoites form gamonts (macrogamonts and microgamonts)
    10. gamonts ingested by vector
    11. microgamont rapidly matures into microgametocyte; exflagellation where the 8 microgametes are released
    12. fertilization
    13. zygote motile (ookinete) and migrates across gut wall
    14. oocysts develop in cells under serosal membrane, and project into hemocoel
    15. sporozoites form in oocysts, rupture, and migrate to salivary glands
  13. representative species
    1. Haemoproteus columbae (columbiform birds/dipterans)
    2. Haemoproteus meleagridis (turkeys/hippoboscids)
    3. Haemoproteus nettionis (anseriform birds/midges)
    4. Leukocytozoon caulleryi (chickens/midges)
    5. Leukocytozoon simondi (anseriform birds/blackflies)
    6. Leukocytozoon smithi (turkeys/blackflies)
    7. Plasmodium berghi (rodents/mosquitos)
    8. Plasmodium cathemerium (passeriform birds/mosquitos)
    9. Plasmodium falciparum (humans/anopheline mosquitoes)
      1. non-relapsing malaria
      2. small rRNA sequences suggest this malaria to be more closely related to Plasmodium reichenowi, a chimpanzee malaria, and Plasmodium gallinaceum and Plasmodium lophurae, both avian malarias, than to the other three human malarias
      3. one study suggested that there may have been 515 million clinical episodes of Plasmodium falciparum infection in 2002 (2005, Nature, 434: 214-217)
    10. Plasmodium knowlesi (baboons/anopheline mosquitoes)
      1. natural hosts baboons, where chronic infections occur. However, experimentally, it infects a wide range of primates where infections can be acute
      2. phylogenetically, closely related to Plasmodium vivax
      3. may infect humans; in doing so it is often mistaken for Plasmodium malariae as it generates a "band" stage in erythrocytes
    11. Plasmodium malariae (humans/anopheline mosquitoes)
      1. once thought to be a relapsing malaria, but now known to be recrudescence (up to 53 years)
      2. also infects non-human primates, unlike the other three human malarias
      3. parasitemia levels low, only about one in 20,000 erythrocytes are infected
      4. this malaria is virtually identical both morphologically and genetically to Plasmodium brasilianum, which infects a wide range of non-human primates
    12. Plasmodium ovale (humans/anopheline mosquitoes)
      1. a relapsing malaria
      2. more closely related to Plasmodium vivax than it is to other human malarias
    13. Plasmodium relictum (passeriform and columbiform birds/mosquitos)
    14. Plasmodium vivax (humans/anopheline mosquitoes)
      1. a relapsing malaria
      2. more closely related to Plasmodium cynomolgi, a monkey malaria, than it is to the other three human malarias
  14. malaria has been used as a biological warfare agent. In 1809, Napoleon flooded the Holland countryside to allow malaria to become rampant. The British Army (Walcheren) expedition became so stricken between August and October of that year that they were unable to sustain the campaign. Over 4,000 troops are reported to have died of the disease and another 10,000 could no longer continue with military service. In the book "The Miraculous Fever-Tree: Malaria and the Quest for a Cure that Changed the World," Fiammetta Rocco quotes Napoleon as stating "We must oppose the English with nothing but fever, which will soon devour them all."
  15. A variety of notable people have been reported to suffer from malaria. I've never seen a comprehensive listing, so I went ahead and put together a list of notables reputed to have suffered from malaria. Clearly, history has been profoundly affected by this parasite.
    1. American Presidents
      1. George Washington, 1st president (1789-1797) developed his first bout with malaria in Virginia in 1749 at age 17. He had periodic attacks, recorded in 1752, 1761, 1784, and 1798. He was treated in 1784, which either didn't work or he acquired a new infection
      2. James Monroe, 5th president (1817-1825) caught malaria while visiting a swampy area along the Mississippi in 1785. He continued to have bouts for many years
      3. Andrew Jackson, 7th president (1829-1837) is thought to have contracted malaria in Florida swamps during the Seminole campaigns of 1818-1821
      4. Abraham Lincoln, 16th president (1861-1865) had periodic bouts of malaria when growing up
      5. Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president (1869-1877) had "ague" throughout the 1850's
      6. James A. Garfield, 20th president (1881) developed "ague" in 1848 in Ohio at age 16
      7. Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president (1901-1909) acquired malaria during a visit to Brazil in 1914
      8. John F. Kennedy, 35th president (1961-1963) acquired malaria during WWII, about 1943
    2. Entertainers/Newscasters
      1. Don Adams, actor and director, acquired malaria at Guadalcanal during WWII
      2. Actor Errol Flynn's recurrent bouts of malaria kept him out of WWII
      3. Actress Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita), raised in Papau, New Guinea, suffered a 9 month bout of malaria in 1975 at age 14
      4. Actress Carol Landis acquired malaria (and amoebic dysentery) while touring with the USO in the South Pacific in 1945
      5. Actor Raymond Burr had numerous bouts of malaria during his life, presumably acquired during WWII
      6. Actor and war hero Audie Murphy acquired malaria in Italy during WWII
      7. Actor Michael Caine picked up malaria when he served with the Royal Fusiliers during the Korean War
      8. Actor Christopher Lee developed malaria on multiple occasions while stationed in Africa during WWII
      9. Actor Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja) acquired malaria while filming in the Philippines
      10. Actor Jeremy Piven contracted malaria while filming "PCU" and had to be hospitalized
      11. Al Jolson acquired malaria during WWII while touring with the USO in the mid-1940's
      12. Steve Reeves, body builder (titles include Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. Universe) and star of "Hercules," acquired malaria in the Philippines in 1944 or 1945
      13. Chris Matthews (MSNBCs Hardball) was hospitalized in 2003 due to malaria that he apparently contracted in Africa or Israel
      14. Anderson Cooper, former ABC news correspondent, acquired malaria in South Africa during his senior year in High School
      15. Amrish Puri, who played "Mola Ram" in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, died in January 2005 of a blood clot to the brain while being treated for malaria
    3. Athletes
      1. Roberto Clemente, baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates 1955-1972, developed malaria in 1965
      2. Kenyan born Wilson Kipeter, 800m champion, developed malaria in 1998
      3. Portsmouth soccer star Yakubu Aiyegbeni was hit with malaria after a visit to Nigeria in 2003
      4. Ethiopian 200m and 400m bonze medalist Rebka Chenashu died of malaria in 2003 at age 17
      5. Dikembe Mutombo, star center for the New Jersey Nets (and formerly with the Atlanta Hawks), acquired malaria while visiting family in the Congo in the Fall of 2000
      6. Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya was out of sports much of 2004-2005 due to malaria
    4. Religious figures (did you know... the Vatican was moved from a lower lying area to its present location, with work beginning in 1574, due to... malaria!)
      1. St. Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, died in 430 AD after a 10 day febrile illness that some historians claim was malaria
      2. Pope Gregory V, often famed as the "reforming Pope," is thought to have died of malaria in 999
      3. Pope Damasus II died in 1048 after only about 3 weeks in office. It is thought he died of malaria
      4. Pope Alexander VI, often famed as the "most corrupt Pope," died of malaria in 1503
      5. Pope Leo X died of malaria in 1521
      6. Pope Sixtus V died of malaria in 1590
      7. Giambattista Castana was elected Pope Urban VII in 1590, but died of malaria before his coronation
      8. Mother Teresa was hospitalized with malaria in 1993
    5. Royalty (more or less)
      1. Emperor Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus died of fever, which many historicans attribute to malaria, in AD 81.
      2. German King and Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich died of malaria in 1197
      3. Byzantine Emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus is thought to have died of malaria in 1341
      4. King Edward IV died in 1483 of various complications, including malaria
      5. Roman Emperor Charles V is reputed to have died of malaria in 1558
      6. Ethiopian Emperor Minas became ill with malaria and then died in 1563
      7. Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, died of malaria in 1658
      8. Emperor Kangxi, second Emperor of the Qing dynasty, ruled 61 years between 1661 and 1722. He was cured of malaria by French Jesuit missionairies in about 1693
      9. Louisa Maria, Queen of Spain, was cured of malaria with quinine ("Jesuit's powder") by Robert Talbor in 1678
      10. King Charles II had recorded bouts of malaria in 1678 and 1679. In 1679 he was cured using quinine ("Jesuit's powder") by Robert Talbor
      11. King Mongkut of Thailand died in 1868 after falling ill with malaria
    6. Miscelleneous adventurers, soldiers, leaders, and other notable types
      1. Jane Goodall, naturalist, has acquired malaria on more than one occasion in Africa
      2. Davy Crockett, outdoorsman and congressman, almost dies of malaria in 1816. Additional bouts, including one in 1827
      3. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, surgeon and writer, developed malaria in the 1880's
      4. Alfred Russell Wallace, co-discoverer along with Charles Darwin of the concept of Natural Selection, formulated and initially drafted his hypothesis in 1858 during a severe attack of malaria in the Moluccas
      5. Meriwether Lewis, explorer, developed malaria in 1803
      6. Famed explorers Henry Morton Stanley and Dr. David Livingstone both suffered from malaria and amoebic dystentery while in Africa
      7. Jefferson Davis, politician and Provisional President of the Confederate States of America, developed malaria in 1835 in Louisiana. He eventually died of a combination of the disease with bronchitis in 1889.
      8. Civil war general George B. McClellan acquired malaria in Mexico in the late 1840's
      9. Josef Ressel, inventor of the propeller, died in 1857 of malaria
      10. Jesse James is reputed to have developed malaria in 1879
      11. General John J. Pershing developed a bout of malaria in 1898
      12. Mahatma Gandhi suffered periodic bouts of malaria throughout the 1930's and 1940's
      13. Ernest Hemingway developed malaria in October, 1922
      14. Lord Horatio Nelson suffered from period bouts of malaria in the 1760's and 1770's
      15. Spanish Explorer Alvaro Mendana de Neira, discoverer of the Soloman Islands in 1568, died of malaria in 1595
      16. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry ("We have met the enemy and they are ours..."), who is often credited with winning the war of 1812 with his major victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, is reputed to have contracted malaria in Venezuela and died of the disease in 1819
      17. Leon Trotsky had a bout of malaria in 1923
      18. Lord Byron died of malaria in Greece in 1824
      19. Eugene O'Neill, playwrite, acquired malaria while prospecting for gold in Honduras in 1909
      20. Lucretia Garfield, first lady to President Garfield, developed malaria in 1881. She only recovered in time to take her husband back to Elberton, New Jersey shortly after he was shot by an assassin
      21. Christopher Columbus had to cut short his fourth voyage to the new world in 1503, again attempting to find a sea route to Asia, due (in part) to malaria.
      22. Genghis Khan is thought by some to have died in 1227 of malaria, although a number of hypotheses exist
      23. Alexander the Great is reputed by many scholars to have died of malaria in 323 BC, although other scholars dispute this

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