Malaria in pregnancy: priorities for research

01 February 2007
Greenwood, B., Alonso, P., ter Kuile, F. O., Hill, J. and Steketee, R. W

Research on the important topic of malaria in pregnancy has been relatively neglected. The seven technical reviews in this special issue on malaria in pregnancy provide an overview of current knowledge on key aspects of malaria in pregnancy and highlight the gaps where more research is needed. In this paper, we prioritise research needs, focusing on areas of research likely to lead to improvements in maternal and child health in malaria endemic areas in the near or mid term. We have selected the following as the highest priorities for research: identification of new safe and effective drugs to treat malaria in pregnancy; identification of new drugs to replace sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy; identification of optimum combinations of control measures in different epidemiological settings; and determination of optimum ways of scaling-up the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and intermittent preventive treatment.