Malaria has a negative effect on the outcome of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at high risk of severe malaria and severe haemolytic anaemia, which contribute over 60-70 percent of foetal and perinatal losses. Infection with P. falciparum towards the end of gestation increases the likelihood of placental infection. The diagnostic challenge is that conventional peripheral blood microscopy is unable to detect all infections as parasites can be sequestered in the placenta. Malaria RDTs may provide a solution as emerging evidence suggests that RDTs are capable of detecting placental malaria better than microscopy and may detect sub-microscopic infections.
This study compares HRP-2 RDTs to microscopy for detecting malaria in feverish pregnant women at time of recruitment in a hospital setting. In addition, at delivery both RDTs and microscopy are compared to a placental histopathology performed to detect placental malaria.
Citation: Malaria Journal, 2011; 10: 306.
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