Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Malaria and Pregnancy

  • Caroline Lin Lin Chua
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_3493-1

Malaria in pregnancy poses a serious threat to many pregnancies around the world, particularly in areas of intense malaria transmission and poor availability of health resources. Every year, approximately 125 million pregnancies occur in malaria-infected countries (Dellicour et al. 2010), with an estimated 10,000 maternal and 100,000 infant deaths attributed to malaria in pregnancy (Guyatt and Snow 2004). Maternal deaths were mainly due to severe malarial anemia, whereas infant deaths were associated with their low birth weight, defined as weighing less than 2500 g at the time of birth.

Malaria parasites can circulate from maternal peripheral blood to the placenta. Pregnant women with malaria-infected placenta are more likely to deliver low birth weight babies, with approximately 130 g reduction in birth weight (Allen et al. 1998). In the presence of heavy inflammation, known as massive chronic intervillositis, this risk was elevated fourfold, and birth weight can be reduced up to 500...


Birth Weight Malaria Transmission Infant Death Fetal Growth Maternal Death 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital)The University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia