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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versión impresa ISSN 0074-0276versión On-line ISSN 1678-8060


MARTINEZ-ESPINOSA, Flor Ernestina; DANIEL-RIBEIRO, Cláudio Tadeu  y  ALECRIM, Wilson Duarte. Malaria during pregnancy in a reference centre from the Brazilian Amazon: unexpected increase in the frequency of Plasmodium falciparum infections. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2004, vol.99, n.1, pp.19-21. ISSN 0074-0276.

Malaria remains globally the most important parasitic disease of man. Data on its deleterious effects during pregnancy have been extensively documented in hyperendemic, holoendemic, and mesoendemic areas from Africa and Asia where Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for almost all infections. However, knowledge about malaria during pregnancy in areas where transmission is unstable and P. vivax is the most prevalent species, such as the Brazilian Amazon, is scarce. Here, we report a preliminary cross sectional descriptive study, carried out at the Fundação de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas, a reference centre for diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases in the west-Amazon (Manaus, Brazil). A total of 1699 febrile childbearing age women had positive thick blood smears to Plasmodium species, between January and November 1997: 1401 (82.5%) were positive for P. vivax , 286 (16.8%) for P. falciparum and 12 (0.07%) carried mixed infections. From the malarious patients, 195 were pregnant. The ratio of P. falciparum to P. vivax infections in the group of non-pregnant infected women was 1:5.6 while it was 1:2.3 in that of pregnant infected ones. Similar rates or even proportionally more vivax infections during pregnancy were expected to occur, in function of the contraindication of primaquine with the resulting increased P. vivax relapse rates. Such an observation suggests that the mechanism of resistance/susceptibility to infection and/or malaria pathogenesis in pregnant women may differ according to Plasmodium species and that the extensively described increase in the frequencies of malaria infection during pregnancy may be specifically due to P. falciparum infection.

Palabras clave : malaria; pregnancy; Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax; unstable transmission; Brazilian Amazon; South America.

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