University of Khartoum

Submicroscopic Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria and Low Birth Weight in an Area of Unstable Malaria Transmission in Central Sudan

Submicroscopic Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria and Low Birth Weight in an Area of Unstable Malaria Transmission in Central Sudan

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Title: Submicroscopic Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria and Low Birth Weight in an Area of Unstable Malaria Transmission in Central Sudan
Author: Mohammed, Amal H.; Salih, Magdi M.; Elhassan, Elhassan M.; Mohmmed, Ahmed A.; Elzaki, Salah E.; El-Sayed, Badria B.; Adam, I.
Abstract: Background: Malaria, which frequently occurs in pregnant women in the tropics, is a leading cause of maternal anaemia and low birth weight (LBW) in infants. Few data exist concerning malaria infections that are present at submicroscopic levels during pregnancy and their LBW delivery in babies. Methods: A case–control study (87 in each group) was conducted at the Medani Hospital, Central Sudan. Cases were women who had LBW deliveries where the infants weighed < 2,500 g. Controls were parturient women without having LBW babies. Obstetrical and medical characteristics were gathered from both groups through structured questionnaires. Both cases and controls were investigated for malaria using microscopic blood film analysis, placental histology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Microscopic and PCR analyses were conducted on maternal peripheral blood, placenta, and umbilical cord samples. Infant weights were recorded immediately after birth. Results: Plasmodium falciparum-positive blood films were not obtained from any of the women (cases or controls). Twenty-seven (31.0%) versus 22 (25.3%) (P = 0.500) of the cases and controls, respectively, had placental malaria infections as determined by histological examination. In comparison to the controls, the submicroscopic malaria infection prevalence rates were significantly higher in the cases; 24 (27.6%) vs six (7.0%), P < 0.001. Multivariate analysis showed that while malaria infection of the placenta (based on histology) was not associated with LBW, submicroscopic P. falciparum infection (OR = 6.89, 95% CI = 2.2–20.8; P = 0.001), or a combination of histologically determined and submicroscopic infections (OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 1.2–4.9; P = 0.012), were significantly associated with LBW. Conclusion: In Central Sudan, pregnant women were at a higher risk of having an LBW delivery if they had submicroscopic infections rather than a histological diagnosis of placental malaria.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/18217
Date: 2016-01-05


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