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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1977;71(6):526-9.

Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes: The effect of chloroquine on their development.


Asexual erythrocytic parasites of Plasmodium falciparum are killed by chloroquine, whilst mature gametocytes are not. The gametocytes of P. falciparum take 10 days to develop to maturity and their sensitivity to chloroquine during this time was studied in vitro to investigate when the switch from susceptibility to insusceptibility occurred and to compare the responses of asexual and immature sexual parasites to the drug. 45 to 50% of asexual parasites and immature gametocytes less than one day old survived in 0.1n. mols of chloroquine per ml but 0.3n. mols of drug per ml was lethal to both. Chloroquine at 1.0n mols per ml was lethal to developing gametocytes during their first six days of growth probably due, at least in part, to the drug disorganizing the parasite's digestion of host erythrocyte haemoglobin. The drug clumped the pigment of developing gametocytes. Only immature gametocytes in the final stage of development (stage 4) survive in high chloroquine concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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