Maternal and fetal outcome of malaria in pregnancy

Gowthami Palem, Sharan J. Pal


Background: Malaria, an oldest recorded parasitic infection transmitted by mosquitoes, is one of the most devastating infectious diseases. Mangalore, government headquarters of Dakshin Kannada district in Karnataka, receives high rainfall and exhibits humid tropical environment, harboring high vector density and contributing to high incidences of malaria. The aim of the present study was to observe maternal and fetal outcome of malaria in pregnancy.

Methods: This is an observational prospective study conducted from September 2014 to September 2015 at Lady Goschen Hospital, Mangalore which serves as tertiary level hospital. Study population included were pregnant women diagnosed to have malaria by rapid diagnostic test or microscopy as an outpatient or inpatient during the study period. Complications were noted in terms of maternal and foetal complications.

Results: A total of 12600 pregnant women attended LGH during study period out of which 41 were positive for malaria which has a prevalence of 0.32%. Among the malaria cases, 23 cases were primigravidae and 18 were multi-gravidae. The commonest pathogen found was Plasmodium vivax accounting for 63.4%. Regarding complications maternal anaemia and thrombocytopenia accounted for 34.1% and 26.8% respectively. Pregnancy outcomes were 17% of spontaneous miscarriage, 21.8% preterm deliveries, 29.1% low birth weight babies and 2.4% perinatal deaths.

Conclusions: Malaria adversely affects both pregnant female as well as fetus. It is therefore advised all patients with fever in pregnancy must have screening for malarial parasite and treated adequately by medicine and supportive care to improve the maternal and fetal outcome.


Fever, Malaria, Plasmodium, Pregnancy

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