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A trophozoite is the activated, feeding stage in the life cycle of protozoan parasites such as the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum (the opposite of the trophozoite state is the thick-walled cyst form).

The trophozoite develops into a schizont which is a mother cell which asexually produces daughter cells known as merozoites. Another type of Balantidium coli is cysts.

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