Pregnant women of any gestational age enrolled at antenatal clinic into a longitudinal cohort study in Ouelessebougou, Mali, an area of high seasonal malaria transmission. Follow-up visits included scheduled and unscheduled visits throughout pregnancy. Blood smear microscopy and PCR analysis were employed to detect both microscopic and submicroscopic infections, respectively. Intermittent preventative treatment in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) was documented and prompt treatment regardless of symptoms given upon malaria diagnosis.
Of the 1850 women followed through delivery, 72.6% of women received 2 or more IPTp-SP doses, 67.2% of women experienced at least one infection between enrollment up to and including delivery. Malaria infection increased the risks of stillbirth (adjusted-hazard ratio (aHR) 3.87, 95%CI 1.18-12.71) and preterm delivery (aHR 2.41, 95%CI 1.35-4.29) in primigravidae, and early neonatal death (death within 7 days) in secundigravidae and multigravidae (HR 6.30, 95%CI 1.41-28.15).
Malaria treatment after diagnosis, alongside IPTp-SP, is insufficient to prevent malaria-related stillbirth, early neonatal death and PTD. While IPTp-SP was beneficial in Mali during the study period, new tools are needed to improve pregnancy outcomes.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2021. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.