American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
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American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2022, 10(3), 79-88
DOI: 10.12691/ajeid-10-3-1
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Prevalence, Risk Factors and Treatment Outcomes of Congenital Malaria among Neonates Hospitalized in Hospitals of Douala, Cameroon

Thomas Kuete1, , Raïssa Anne Chantal Aurelie Moukoko Doualla1, Danièle Keddy Mangamba1, 2, Mathio Esther Barla3, Diomede Noukeu4, Cecile Okalla1, 3 and Albert Same Ekobo1

1Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon

2Bonassama District Hospital, Douala Cameroon

3General Hospital of Douala, Cameroon

4Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital of Douala, Cameroon

Pub. Date: October 13, 2022

Cite this paper:
Thomas Kuete, Raïssa Anne Chantal Aurelie Moukoko Doualla, Danièle Keddy Mangamba, Mathio Esther Barla, Diomede Noukeu, Cecile Okalla and Albert Same Ekobo. Prevalence, Risk Factors and Treatment Outcomes of Congenital Malaria among Neonates Hospitalized in Hospitals of Douala, Cameroon. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2022; 10(3):79-88. doi: 10.12691/ajeid-10-3-1


The relevance of transplacental acquired malaria is still not clear in many malaria endemic areas. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence, risk factors and antimalarial treatment outcomes of laboratory-confirmed congenital malaria cases in Douala. Methodology. This was a hospitalized-based cross-sectional study undertaken among under seven days neonates hospitalized between January 2018 and May 2018 in the neonatalogy units of three Douala-based hospitals in Cameroon. For each eligible neonate, maternal and perinatal data were collected. The newborn was immediately examined for physical and clinical symptoms by a pediatrician or a neonanatologist, peripheral blood was screened in laboratory for detection of malaria parasites using microscopy and the “One Step Malaria HRP-II (P.f) and pLDH (Pan) Antigen Rapid Test” malaria rapid diagnostic test. Each laboratory-confirmed malaria case was treated accordingly as severe malaria. Data were analyzed as univariate with Pearson Khi2 and Fisher Exact Tests considering a P-value< 0.05 as statistically significant. Results. A total of 139 hospitalized neonates aged less than 7 days were included in the study. The sex ratio was 1.17. The prevalence of laboratory-confirmed congenital malaria was 3.6% by both microscopy and RDT. Only Plasmodium falciparum asexual stage was detected. Plasmodium loads were low (range: 192-320 asexual stages/µl of blood). Hyperthermia and jaundice were most predictive clinical signs of Plasmodium congenital malaria. Young mother age (p=0.002) and malaria episode during pregnancy (p=0.01) were associated with congenital malaria. P. falciparum confirmed congenital malaria cases were successfully managed with antimalarial monotherapies namely artemether, artesunate or quinine. Mortality among Plasmodium carrying neonates who received antimalarial treatment was 0%. Conclusion. Plasmodium falciparum congenital malaria was an etiology of neonatal infection among neonates hospitalized in Douala. Laboratory-confirmed congenital malaria cases were treated successfully as severe malaria. Congenital malaria should therefore be included in the list of differential diagnosis of neonatal infection at least in neonate with fever or jaundice, and those born to young mothers or mothers with pregnancy malaria.

congenital malaria newborn microscopy rapid diagnostic test prevalence risk factors outcomes Douala Cameroon

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