Impact of Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum Parasitaemia on Maternal Anaemia and Low Birth Weight in Blue Nile State, Sudan

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of submicroscopic infections and to assess its impact on maternal anaemia and low birth weight. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 1149 consented pregnant women who delivered at 3 main hospitals in the Blue Nile State, between January 2012 and December 2015. From a matched maternal peripheral, placental maternal side, and cord blood sample, blood films and dried spots were prepared for microscopic examination and nested polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR), respectively. 107 out of 447 negative blood films were found to have submicroscopic infection detected using n-PCR in any of the three compartments. Placental samples had a significantly higher prevalence (142) of submicroscopic infections compared with the peripheral (6.5%) and cord (8.1%) samples. The mean (SD) of the maternal haemoglobin (Hb) was significantly lower in cases with submicroscopic parasitaemia (10.9 (0.8) vs. 12.1 (0.7) g/dl, P<0.001) compared with those who had no submicroscopic parasitaemia. Submicroscopic malaria infection was associated with anaemia (OR 19.7, (95% CI, 10.3-37.8)). Thirty-eight babies born to women with submicroscopic infections were low birth weight (LBW) and was significantly lower in submicroscopic parasitaemia (2.663 (0.235) vs. 2.926 (0.341) kg, P<0.001). Submicroscopic malaria infection was associated with LBW (OR = 2.7, (95% CI, 1.2-5.6)). There is a high incidence of submicroscopic infections in any of the three compartments regardless of age or parity. Submicroscopic infection is a risk of maternal anaemia and low birth weight in women in this area of high seasonal malaria transmission.

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Omer, S. A., Noureldein, A. N., Eisa, H., Abdelrahim, M., Idress, H. E., Abdelrazig, A. M., & Adam, I. (2019). Impact of Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum Parasitaemia on Maternal Anaemia and Low Birth Weight in Blue Nile State, Sudan. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/3162378

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