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Frequent Umbilical Cord-Blood and Maternal-Blood Infections with Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae, and P. ovale in Kenya

Aaron A. R. Tobian, Rajeev K. Mehlotra, Indu Malhotra, Alex Wamachi, Peter Mungai, Davy Koech, John Ouma, Peter Zimmerman and Christopher L. King
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 182, No. 2 (Aug., 2000), pp. 558-563
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30110746
Page Count: 6
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Frequent Umbilical Cord-Blood and Maternal-Blood Infections with Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae, and P. ovale in Kenya
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Abstract

The prevalence of malaria infection in 102 paired maternal-blood and umbilical cord-blood samples was assessed by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a holoendemic area in Kenya. Plasmodium falciparum single-species infection was detected in maternal peripheral blood (3.4%), whereas microscopy indicated that no Plasmodium species were in cord blood. In contrast, maternal-blood samples showed a PCR prevalence of 48% for P. falciparum, 25% for P. malariae, and 24% for P. ovale, and cord-blood samples showed a PCR prevalence of 32%, 23%, and 21%, respectively. Although mothers with mixed-species infections were more likely to have offspring infected with mixed species, the specific malaria species were discordant in paired maternal- and cord-blood samples. Triple-species infections were observed in 11 cord- and maternal-blood samples at a 5.5-fold greater frequency than expected. These findings indicate that Plasmodium species infections in cord blood are common, occur at lower densities, and may be acquired before parturition.

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