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Plasmodiidae (order Eucoccidia, suborder Haemosporina) A family of parasitic protozoa which undergo schizogony in the red blood cells, as well as in the cells of other tissues, in a vertebrate host. There is one genus, Plasmodium, with more than 50 species, which includes some very important disease-causing species: the malarial parasites. The life cycle is complex. Some stages can occur only in a second host, the mosquito vector.