Malaria is an infectious disease caused by an intracellular parasite. This protozoan belongs to the genus Plasmodium and is most commonly transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito.

Typical symptoms include high fever, headaches, sweats, chills, and vomiting.

The parasite can be identified microscopically by performing a blood smear stained with Giemsa (Figure 1).

Malaria has brought devastating effect in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of the world population is at risk of malaria and one of two million annual deaths are caused by malaria.

Figure 1: Example blood smear showing red blood cells infected with plasmodium and stained with Giemsa.