Background: Infants of mothers with placental Plasmodium falciparum infections at delivery are themselves more susceptible to malaria attacks or to infection in early life. Methodology/ Principal Findings: To assess the impact of either the timing or the number of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) infections on the incidence of parasitemia or malaria attacks in infancy, we followed 218 mothers through pregnancy (monthly visits) up to delivery and their infants from birth to 12 months of age (fortnightly visits), collecting detailed clinical and parasitological data. After adjustment on location, mother's age, birth season, bed net use, and placental malaria, infants born to a mother with PAM during the third trimester of pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of infection (OR [95% CI]: 4.2 [1.6; 10.5], p = 0.003) or of malaria attack (4.6 [1.7; 12.5], p = 0.003). PAM during the first and second trimesters had no such impact. Similarly significant results were found for the effect of the overall number of PAM episodes on the time to first parasitemia and first malaria attack (HR [95% CI]: 2.95 [1.58; 5.50], p = 0.001 and 3.19 [1.59; 6.38], p = 0.001) respectively. Conclusions/ Significance: This study highlights the importance of protecting newborns by preventing repeated episodes of PAM in their mothers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)