Diploid: Cells containing a full set of chromosomes.
Gametes: Reproductive elements, male and female.
Gametocytes: Precursors of the sexual forms of the malaria parasite, which release either male or female gametes within the stomach of the mosquito.
Haploid: Cells containing a half set of chromosomes.
Merozoite: The form of the malaria parasite that invades red blood cells.
Oocyst: A stage of the malaria parasite within the mosquito which is produced when male and female gametes combine.
Ookinete: The actively moving zygote of the malarial organism that penetrates the mosquito stomach to form an oocyst under the outer gut lining.
Sporozoite: The infectious form of the malaria parasite, which is injected into people by mosquitoes.
Zygote: The diploid cell resulting from union of a male and a female gamete.
* Time-frame depends on the malaria parasite species.
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Last Updated April 03, 2012