LIVE Plasmodium berghei taken
from mosquito midgut showing 3 fully developed ookinetes and
2 unfertilised female gametes. All are genetically modifed to
express Green Fluorescence Protein, and photographed using a
fluorescence microscope and GFP filter settings. P. berghei
belongs to a group of four Plasmodium species that infect
murine rodents from Central Africa. These species areP.
vinckei, P.chabaudi, P. yoeliiand P. berghei.
Females are spherical and transform to elongated ookinete stages
within 20hours after fertilisation. The bright areas in the
centre of the ookinetes are the remains of digested haemazoin
pigment granules from when the females were developing inside
their host's red blood cells. The ookinetes travel through the
gut wall of their mosquito hosts and form cysts on the outside,
which then produce the parasite stages that can infect new hosts.