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Overview of malaria in pregnancy

INTRODUCTION

Each year, 50 million women living in malaria-endemic areas become pregnant; one-half of these women live in Africa [1]. It is estimated that 10,000 women and 200,000 infants die as a result of malaria infection during pregnancy; severe maternal anemia, prematurity, and low birth weight contribute to more than half of these deaths.

Human malaria is caused by five species of Plasmodia: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae and P. knowlesi [2]. Most infections are due to either P. falciparum or P. vivax, but mixed infections with more than one malarial species also occur. The majority of malaria-related deaths are due to P. falciparum.

The continued public health burden of malaria is due to a combination of factors, including:

Increasing resistance of malarial parasites to chemotherapy

Increasing resistance of the Anopheles mosquito vector to insecticides

                      

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Literature review current through: Jul 2014. | This topic last updated: May 20, 2014.
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