Malaria Sporozoite Movement : 2011

Photograph by

Volker Brinkmann

About this image

Time lapse fluorescence micrograph of malaria sporozoites. Sporozoites are the motile form of a parasite that infects its host. Here, the sporozoites are from Plasmodium, a genus of parasites that carry malaria. They are present in the saliva of a mosquito and are transmitted to a host during the mosquito’s blood meal. Here the colours show two different genetic varieties, stained with different fluorescent dyes. The motion of the sporozoites in two dimensions (up/down, left/right) is mapped as a function of time (into/out of the image plane). The majority of green-stained sporozoites are highly motile and move in helical tracks away from the centre. Most of the red-stained variety are relatively immotile. Max-Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany