Malaria and HIV infection in Mozambican pregnant women are associated with reduced transfer of antimalarial antibodies to their newborns

15 Mar 2015
Moro L, Bardají A, Nhampossa T, Mandomando I, Serra-Casas E, Sigaúque B, Cisteró P, Chauhan VS, Chitnis CE, Ordi J, Dobaño C, Alonso PL, Menéndez C, Mayor A.

Malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection during pregnancy affect the transplacental transfer of antibodiesagainst several pathogens from mother to fetus, although the effect of malaria and HIV infection on the transfer of antimalarial antibodiesremains unclear.


Levels of total immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin M (IgM), and IgG subtypes against the following Plasmodium falciparum antigens were measured in 187 pairs of mother-cord plasma specimens from Mozambique: 19-kDa fragment of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP119), erythrocyte binding antigen 175 (EBA175), apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1), and parasite lysate. Placental antibody transferwas defined as the cord-to-mother ratio (CMR) of antibody levels.


Maternal malaria was associated with reduced CMR of EBA175 IgG (P = .014) and IgG1 (P = .029), AMA1 IgG (P = .002), lysate IgG1 (P = .001), and MSP1 IgG3 (P = .01). Maternal HIV was associated with reduced CMR of MSP1 IgG1 (P = .022) and IgG3 (P = .023), lysate IgG1 (P = .027) and IgG3 (P = .025), AMA1 IgG1 (P = .001), and EBA175 IgG3 (P = .001). Decreased CMR was not associated with increased adverse pregnancy outcomes or augmented risk of malaria in the infant during the first year of life.


Placental transfer of antimalarial antibodies is reduced in pregnant women with malaria and HIV infection. However, this decrease does not contribute to an increased risk of malaria-associated morbidity during infancy.