Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malaria poses additional risks for first-time mothers

14.11.2006
One of the consequences of malaria has been shown in new research to be an increased likelihood for women in their first pregnancy to develop preeclampsia (very high blood pressure and protein loss in the urine), which carries high risks for both mother and child.

Preeclampsia is thought to be more common in parts of the world where there is a serious malaria problem and it has often been speculated that there might be a connection. Malaria is more common in a first pregnancy and so is preeclampsia. In both cases, the reasons are unknown. Researchers from the USA, UK and Tanzania set out to investigate the possibility that malaria might lead to preeclampsia.

When a pregnant woman has malaria, it can result in a high concentration of malaria parasites developing in the placenta, in which case she is said to have ‘placental malaria’. This is very harmful to the mother and to the fetus; it leads to low birth weight and, in Africa alone, is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of about 200,000 infants every year. A woman who is pregnant for the first time is most likely to suffer from placental malaria, and to have her placenta become highly infected and extremely inflamed. If she later becomes pregnant again, she will be protected to some extent by antibodies she has developed against the parasites in the placenta.

Working with pregnant women in Tanzania, the researchers found that, overall, women with placental malaria were no more likely than other women to develop hypertension. However, for young first-time mothers, having placental malaria increased the risk of hypertension about three-fold. The researchers also measured levels of a substance called sVEGFR1 (sometimes called sFlt1), which is known to increase before and during preeclampsia and is thus considered to be a ‘biomarker’ for the condition. sVEGFR1 levels were high in first-time mothers with either placental malaria or hypertension, or both, but levels were not raised in other mothers with these conditions. A related substance, VEGF, which is known to be involved with the process that causes inflammation, was high in first-time mothers with placental malaria, but not in those who had hypertension alone. sVEGFR1 can bind to VEGF and block its action.

Because sVEGFR1 was produced by the fetus’ cells, and VEGF was produced by the mother’s cells, the scientists concluded that the mother and fetus were in conflict over how to deal with the parasites in the placenta, and that this conflict led to preeclampsia.

The researchers say their findings support the view that, in young first-time mothers only, placental malaria can cause preeclampsia. Action to reduce the chance of such women getting malaria would have the additional benefit of lowering their chance of developing preeclampsia.

Citation: Mutabingwa TK, Bolla MC, Li JL, Domingo GJ, Li X, et al. (2005) Maternal malaria and gravidity interact to modify infant susceptibility to malaria. PLoS Med 3(11): e407.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosmedicine.org
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020407

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>