Demonstrable Maturity of Gametocytes as a Factor in the Infection of Anophelines with Plasmodium Vivax and Plasmodium Falciparum

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  • Station for Malaria Research, Tallahassee, Florida
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In a previous paper (1) we have discussed the infectiousness of patients infected with Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum from the standpoint of the period of the attack at which gametocytes are produced, as well as the minimum number of these cells which makes a patient infectious for Anopheles quadrimaculatus. In order that these cells may accomplish their function, it is obvious that some or all must be sexually mature when they are ingested by the anopheline. When applying mosquitoes to a presumably infectious patient, we routinely make an exflagellation preparation, following a technique similar to that of James and Shute (2). Although the microscopic examination of these preparations is limited to the search for exflagellating microgametocytes, we are of the opinion that if these observations are positive, it may be inferred that sexually mature macrogametocytes were also simultaneously present.