Congenital malaria in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
AbstractWe recruited 600 pregnant women, whose ages were between 17 and 40 years in Calabar, Nigeria, out of which 300 of them who picked up folded pieces of paper marked \'Yes\' for themselves and their neonates were selected. The remaining 300 pregnant women who picked up the folded pieces of paper marked \'No\' for themselves and their neonates were excluded. Thereafter, we examined 300 blood samples each from the selected mothers, placenta, cord and neonates aged between 1 and 8 days for the presence of malaria parasites. The prevalence rate of 3.0% (9) for Plasmodium falciparum was observed in the neonates while 3.3%(10), 10.3% (31) and 17.0% (51) were observed in the cord, placenta and mothers respectively. The prevalence rates of infection of the neonates and cord were not statistically significant (P > 0.05) whereas statistically significant (P < 0.05) differences occurred between prevalence rates of infection of the mothers and the placenta. The infection of gametocytes only was 6% (18) and 1.3% (4) in mothers and placenta respectively. Both gametocytes and trophozoites infections were observed in 0.3% (1) maternal blood. No gametocytes or mixed infections were observed in the cord and neonates. No statistically significant differences (P > 0.05) occurred in the tissues infected with various stages of Plasmodium falciparum. The study has confirmed congenital malaria transmission in Calabar.
Keywords: congenital malaria, prevalence, placenta, cord, neonatal blood
Mary Slessor Journal of Medicine Vol. 5(1), 2005: 37-40