Plasmodium vivax is a protozoal parasite and a human pathogen. This parasite is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria. P. vivax is carried by the female Anopheles mosquito.
Plasmodium vivax is found mainly in Asia, Latin America, and in some parts of Africa.
Although it is less virulent than Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the five human malaria parasites, P. vivax malaria infections can lead to severe disease and death, often due to splenomegaly.
Plasmodium vivax can cause a more unusual form of malaria with atypical symptoms. It has been known to debut with hiccups, loss of taste, lack of fever, pain while swallowing, cough and urinary discomfort.
Unlike P. falciparum, P. vivax can populate the bloodstream with sexual-stage parasites. The parasite can go dormant in the liver for days to years, causing no symptoms and remaining undetectable in blood tests.