Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 1 No. 2

Transplacental Plasmodium falciparum infection: Its incidence, parity related effects on birth weight in Abraka, Nigeria.

J.C. Igweh1, K. Pender2 and R.E. Ucheya3

1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria. 2Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. 3Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus Enugu, Nigeria.

Received on 20 June 2007 and accepted on 25 July 2007

 

ABSTRACT

The present study was designed to determine the incidence of malaria in pregnant women residing in Abraka, Nigeria and to evaluate its effects on pregnancy outcome, in terms of birth weight, and in relation to parity. Cord blood of 45 consenting pregnant women at the General Hospital, Abraka, Nigeria, were used for this study. The cord blood was examined for malaria parasites by microscopy of Giemsa-stained thick blood films. Results showed incidence of 66% for malaria parasite and lower birth weight babies this was statistically significant (p<0.05). Results also showed an incidence of 56.3% for the primigravida group compared with 34.5% for the multigravida group and a relatively lower birth weight babies that were statistically not significantly different (p>0.05). The malaria infection incidence was due mainly to Plasmodium falciparum infection. We conclude that the incidence of malaria in pregnancy in Abraka, Nigeria is comparable with the reports of several other authors elsewhere and that this incidence has a bearing on birth weight with a greater severity in primigravida women.

Keywords : Transplacental malaria, Plasmodium falciparum malaria, malaria incidence, birth weight, Abraka.