Malaria is a major cause of adverse pregnancy outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, but resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, the only antimalarial recommended by the World Health Organisation for intermittent preventive therapy, is threatening the gains made in the last two decades. In this issue, Mlugu and colleagues present the results of a trial of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine as an alternative to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. The results are impressive but raise the question why they differ so much from three previous trials.
Malaria infections in the first trimester of pregnancy are frequent and deleterious for both mother and child health. To investigate if these early infections are newly acquired or already present in the host, we assessed whether parasites detected before pregnancy and those detected in early pregnancy are the same infection.
The prevalence of malaria in pregnancy and its complications, remain very high in Nigeria. This study aimed to determine the effects of a malaria health educational intervention based on the information-motivation-behavioural skills (IMB) model on malaria preventive practices and pregnancy outcomes.
Kisangani is an area with intense malaria transmission and sulfadoxine‐pyrimethamine resistance. Alternative anti‐malaria prophylaxis medication and protocols are needed, particularly with pregnant individuals. In this study, we compare the tolerance and effectiveness of mefloquine regimen as a split dose with meal versus sulfadoxine‐pyrimethamine for the intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant individuals in Kisangani.
Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is the only anti-malarial drug formulation approved for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). However, mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum dhfr (Pfdhfr) and dhps (Pfdhps) genes confer resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, respectively. Here, the frequencies of SP resistance-associated mutations from 2005 to 2018 were compared in samples from Kenyan children with malaria residing in a holoendemic transmission region.
Malaria is a particular problem in pregnancy because of enhanced sensitivity, the possibility of placental malaria, and adverse effects on pregnancy outcome. Artemisinin-containing combination therapies (ACTs) are the most effective antimalarials known. WHO recommends 7-day quinine therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the first trimester despite the superior tolerability and efficacy of 3-day ACT regimens because artemisinins caused embryolethality and/or cardiovascular malformations at relatively low doses in rats, rabbits, and monkeys.
Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with monthly sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended for malaria-endemic parts of Africa, but efficacy is compromised by resistance and, in recent trials, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) has shown better antimalarial protective efficacy. We utilized blood samples from a recent trial to evaluate selection by IPTp with DP or SP of Plasmodium falciparum genetic polymorphisms that alter susceptibility to these drugs.
All malaria infections are harmful to both the pregnant mother and the developing fetus. One in ten maternal deaths in malaria endemic countries are estimated to result from Plasmodium falciparum infection. Malaria is associated with a 3-4 times increased risk of miscarriage and a substantially increased risk of stillbirth. Current treatment and prevention strategies reduce, but do not eliminate, malaria's damaging effects on pregnancy outcomes.
Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) is an important public health problem across sub-Saharan Africa. The package of measures for its control in Ghana in the last 20 years include regular use of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs), directly-observed administration (DOT) of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) and prompt and effective case management of MiP. Unfortunately, Ghana like other sub-Saharan African countries did not achieve the reset Abuja targets of 100% of pregnant women having access to IPTp and 100% using LLINs by 2015.
125 million women are pregnant each year in malaria endemic areas and are, therefore, at risk of Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP). MiP is the direct consequence of Plasmodium infection during pregnancy. The sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the placenta adversely affects fetal development and impacts newborn birth weight. Importantly, women presenting with MiP commonly develop anaemia. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Health recommends screening symptomatic women only at antenatal care visits with no formal intermittent preventive therapy. Since MiP can display low-level parasitaemia, current tests which include microscopy and RDT are challenged to detect these cases. Loop mediated isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology is a highly sensitive technique for DNA detection and is field compatible. This study aims to evaluate the impact of active malaria case detection during pregnancy using LAMP technology in terms of birth outcomes.