Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) is an important cause of morbidity to the mother and fetus and during the early childhood. It is associated with fetal loss, spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, low weight at birth, and increased maternal and neonatal mortality. Despite of its importance in Public Health, there is no consolidated global estimate of the maternal morbidity and mortality resulting from MiP. Moreover, the incidence and clinical implications of Plasmodium vivax malaria during gestation remains little studied. The Juruá Valley, in the state of Acre, is the main Brazilian Amazon malaria transmission hotspot. Cruzeiro do Sul, largest city in this region, contributes 11% of all malaria cases in Brazil and 25% of Plasmodium falciparum malaria burden countrywide. We aim to determine the prevalence and risk factors of MiP in Cruzeiro do Sul. To this end, we will carry out molecular diagnosis of malaria on mother's venous blood samples collected at delivery, and on samples collected during antenatal care visits between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. The association between sociodemographic and nutritional variables of mothers and the risk of MiP will be investigated using multiple logistic regression analysis. Moreover, we will use cord blood samples collected at delivery to diagnose congenital malaria in the neonates. This study will provide data that are urgently needed to design better policies to diagnose and prevent MiP in malaria-endemica areas of Brazil.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: