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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Malaria. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Plasmodium History - Modern Times

In 1880, Alphonse Laveran discovered that a parasite was the causative agent for malaria. In 1886, Camillo Golgi was able to show that in some patients there was a relationship between the 72-hour life cycle of development of the parasites and a similar periodicity of the chill and fever pattern in patients, whereas in other patients there were 48-hour cycles of development. Golgi thus came to the conclusion that there must be more than one species of malaria parasite responsible for the different patterns of cyclical infection.
In 1890, Italian investigators Giovanni Batista Grassi and Raimondo Filetti introduced the names Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae. Grassi was also the first to describe the life cycle of the parasites in 1899.
Plasmodium falciparum was named in 1897 by American William H Welch. Also in 1897, a British officer by the name of Ronald Ross discovered that humans are able to pass the malaria parasite into mosquitoes by releasing malaria-free mosquitoes in the rooms of malaria patients.
The fourth malarial parasite, Plasmodium ovale was found in 1922 by John W. W. Stephens.