New study examines placental malaria and risk of malaria in infants
The scientists looked at an infant cohort born to 355 primigravidae and 1500 multigravidae with or without placental malaria. The study, which took place in the high malaria transmission area of Ghana, tried to see if the risk of malaria would be higher in the infants whose mothers had malaria during childbirth, something which had always been uncertain.
In groups of children born to multigravidae without PM, multigravidae with PM and primigravidae with PM, the results showed that episodes of malaria parasitemia or clinical malaria were similar. Infants who were born to primigravidae without PM were shown to have lower incidences of malaria than the other three groups, with an adjusted hazard ratio of .64 and .60.
The scientists concluded that direct exposure to placental malaria did not directly increase incidences of malaria among infants of MG. The scientists did note that in the study area, the absence of placental malaria in PG may explain the lower incidence of malaria-related outcomes.