Plasmodium berghei infection associated with adverse birth outcomes in pregnant Swiss albino mice
Malaria in pregnancy has been seen to cause poor pregnancy and foetal outcomes. In this study, mice infected with Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei) during the second and third stages of pregnancy were examined for their pregnancy's outcome and changes in their blood's biochemical composition after delivery. Additionally, the physical and behavioural reactions of the mice's pups were also investigated. Thirty pregnant female Swiss Albino mice were randomly divided into three groups; two received intraperitoneal injections of 106 P. berghei-infected red blood cells on gestational days (GD12 and 17), while the third group was left uninfected (control). Pregnancy termination occurred in 20% of mice infected during GD12, whereas mortality before parturition occurred in 40% and 30% of mice infected during GD12 and GD17, respectively. Non-infected group's total protein and glucose concentrations were significantly higher (p<0.05), while cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were significantly lower (p<0.05) when compared to the infected groups. The Mean birth weights (1.82 ± 0.37 g) of pups were considerably higher (p < 0.05) in control mice compared to pups from infected groups. Offspring born to infected mothers exhibited poor physical and behavioural responses. Mice infection by Plasmodium berghei during pregnancy resulted in adverse birth outcomes, altered measured biochemical parameters, poor physical and behavioural responses in their offspring and was more severe during the 2nd stage of pregnancy.
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