Case management of malaria in pregnancy

01 February 2007
Nosten F, McGready R, Mutabingwa T.

 

In all malarious areas, infection by any of the main human plasmodial species during pregnancy is detrimental to the mother and the fetus. These potentially fatal infections must be prevented, but when they develop they require prompt diagnosis and treatment. Current tools to detect malaria parasites in pregnant women are often not used and remain too insensitive to detect a low parasitaemia. The kinetics, safety, and efficacy of available antimalarial drugs are poorly documented because pregnant women are systematically excluded from clinical trials. A considerable effort, involving clinical trials, is urgently required to improve the diagnosis and case management of malaria during pregnancy if the morbidity and mortality of maternal malaria is to be reduced.