Prevalence and Risk of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax Malaria among Pregnant Women Living in the Hypoendemic Communities of the Peruvian Amazon

Falgunee K. Parekh Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Ministerio de Salud, Direccion Regional de Salud Loreto, Iquitos, Peru

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Jean N. Hernandez Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Ministerio de Salud, Direccion Regional de Salud Loreto, Iquitos, Peru

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Donald J. Krogstad Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Ministerio de Salud, Direccion Regional de Salud Loreto, Iquitos, Peru

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W. Martin Casapia Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Ministerio de Salud, Direccion Regional de Salud Loreto, Iquitos, Peru

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Oralee H. Branch Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Ministerio de Salud, Direccion Regional de Salud Loreto, Iquitos, Peru

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The Amazon region of Iquitos, Peru is hypoendemic for Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum. There is limited information regarding the epidemiology of malaria during pregnancy in this region. Passive surveillance for clinical malaria among pregnant women was conducted in eight health posts in 2004 and 2005. Community-based active surveillance was conducted to determine the incidence of malarial infection among pregnant women in the community of Zungarococha in 2004 and 2005. Passive surveillance demonstrated that pregnant women had a prevalence of clinical malaria of 7.5% in 2004 and 6.6% in 2005 compared with 20.6% and 22.4% of the total population. Active surveillance showed that pregnant women were 2.3 (95% confidence interval = 1.32–3.95, P = 0.004) times more likely to have a P. falciparum infection compared with non-pregnant women. This study demonstrated that because of detection bias, passive surveillance underestimates the burden of malarial infection during pregnancy, and that subclinical malarial infections may occur frequently among pregnant women in this region. Furthermore, pregnant women in this low-transmission and P. vivax–dominant setting, experience an increased risk for P. falciparum infection, but not P. vivax infection.

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