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Volume 27, Number 2—February 2021
Etymologia

Etymologia: Falciparum

Aparna TiwariComments to Author  and Abhinav Sinha
Author affiliations: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India (A. Tiwari); India Council of Medical Research–National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi (A. Tiwari, A. Sinha)

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Falciparum [fal-′sɪ-pə-rəm]

Figure

Giemsa-stained thin blood smear of Plasmodium falciparum (original magnification ×1,000). Red arrows indicate gametocytes, and green arrows indicate trophozoite stages. Photograph provided by A. Tiwari.

Figure. Giemsa-stained thin blood smear of Plasmodium falciparum (original magnification ×1,000). Red arrows indicate gametocytes, and green arrows indicate trophozoite stages. Photograph provided by A. Tiwari.

From the Latin falx or falci (sickle or scythe-shaped) and parum (like or equal to another) or parere (to bring forth or bear). The species falciparum in the genus Plasmodium is the parasite that causes malignant tertian malaria in humans (Figure).

There were many terms suggested for this parasite, such as Ematozoo falciforme by Antolisei and Angelini in 1890 and Haemotozoon falciforme by Thayer and Hewetson in 1895, because of its sickle-shaped gametocytes, the sexual stage of falciparum parasites. However, the term falciparum, suggested by William Henry Welch in 1897, was eventually accepted. In 1954, Plasmodium falciparum (previously Laverania malariae) was approved by International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

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References

  1. Bruce-Chwatt  LJ. Falciparum nomenclature. Parasitol Today. 1987;3:252. DOIPubMed
  2. Christophers  R, Sinton  JA. Correct name of malignant tertian parasite. BMJ. 1938;2:11304. DOIPubMed
  3. Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier; 2012. p. 678.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2702.et2702

Original Publication Date: January 08, 2021

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Table of Contents – Volume 27, Number 2—February 2021

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Aparna Tiwari, India Council of Medical Research–National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi 110077, India

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Page created: January 08, 2021
Page updated: January 23, 2021
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