Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Plasmodium

Protozoan blood parasite (family Plasmodidae) that is the agent of malaria (blackwater fever) in humans. Over 25 species are known to infect mammals; at least four are specific to humans, i.e. P. falciparum, P. malariae. P. ovale and P. vivax. At least seven species are found in nonhuman anthropoid primates.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"