Plasmodium atheruri

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Plasmodium atheruri is a species of the genus Plasmodium subgenus Vinckeia.

Like all members of this genus it is parasitic on vertebrate and insect hosts. The natural vertebrate host is the African porcupine (Atherurus africanus) but it is possible to infect the large vesper mouse (Calomys callosus) and Meriones unguiculatus.

Plasmodium atheruri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Protista
Phylum: Apicomplexa
Class: Aconoidasida
Order: Haemosporida
Family: Plasmodiidae
Genus: Plasmodium
Species: P. atheruri
Binomial name
Plasmodium atheruri


This species was described in 1958 by den Berghe, Peel, Chardome and Lambrecht.

Exoerythrocytic schizogony in this species usually lasts 4 to 6 days but occasionally schizonts have been found in the liver at day 8. Two types of infection are recognised: an acute form characterised by large trophozoites, schizonts with 8 to 16 merozoites, gametocytes and infectivity to Anopheles species; and a chronic form following the acute form by 15 to 21 days and which is characterized by small trophozoites and schizonts producing 4 merozoites.


Geographic occurrence[edit]

This species is found in Africa.