Effect of Lymphatic Filariasis and Hookworm Infection on Pregnancy Course and Outcome in Women Living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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  • 1 UMI 233, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), INSERM Unité 1175 and University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France;
  • 2 UMR1027, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche nationale (Inserm) and University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France;
  • 3 Programme National de Lutte contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées à Chimiothérapie Préventive, Ministère de la Santé Publique, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Little is known about the effect of helminth infections on the natural gynecological and pregnancy course. Our goal was to assess the relationship between Wuchereria bancrofti and hookworm (HW) infections with pregnancy course and outcome in a group of 82 women living in a rural area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Demographics and information on gynecological and obstetrical histories were collected retrospectively with standardized questionnaires. Wuchereria bancrofti and HW infections were diagnosed using a filarial antigen-detection test and the Kato–Katz method, respectively. Analyses consisted of multivariable logistic regressions adjusting for age, number of deliveries, and history of anthelmintic treatment (HAHT). The median age of study participants was 35 (interquartile range [IQR]: 30–44) years, and the median number of deliveries was five (IQR: 3–7). Wuchereria bancrofti and HW infection rates were 44.5% and 43.3%, respectively. Filarial antigenemia and HW infection were not significantly associated with the number of deliveries. The proportions of women with a history of pregnancy resulting in neonatal death, miscarriage, premature birth, and postpartum hemorrhage were 56%, 44%, 23%, and 36%, respectively. History of pregnancy associated with neonatal death was less frequent in women with HAHT, tended to be more frequent in women with filarial antigenemia, and was not associated with HW infection. None of the three other pregnancy events studied (miscarriage, premature birth, and postpartum hemorrhage) were associated with filarial antigenemia or HW infection. The positive association found between HAHT and lower risk of neonatal death warrants investigation in larger groups of women.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Jérémy T. Campillo, UMI 233, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and University of Montpellier, 911 Ave. Agropolis, P.O. Box 64501, Montpellier 34394, France. E-mail: jeremy.campillo@ird.fr

Financial support: Initial trials were funded by grant GH5342 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No additional funds were required for this study.

Authors’ addresses: Jérémy T. Campillo, Boussinesq, Cédric B. Chesnais, and Sébastien D. Pion, UMI 233, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), INSERM Unité 1175 and University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France, E-mails: jeremy.campillo@ird.fr, michel.boussinesq@ird.fr, cedric.chesnais@ird.fr, and sebastien.pion@ird.fr. Emmanuel B. Chabot, UMI 233, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), INSERM Unité 1175 and University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France, and UMR1027, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) and University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France. E-mail: eb.chabot@gmail.com. Naomi-Pitchouna Awaca-Uvon, Jean-Paul Tambwe, and Godefroy Kuyangisa-Simuna, Programme National de Lutte contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées à Chimiothérapie Préventive, Ministère de la Santé Publique, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, E-mails: naopitchouna@gmail.com, jptambwe@yahoo.fr, and godekuyangisa@yahoo.fr.

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