Iron homeostasis in mother and child during placental malaria infection

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Jan;84(1):148-51. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0250.


In malaria-endemic areas, iron deficiency and placental Plasmodium falciparum infection commonly coexist. In primigravidae and their newborns, hepcidin and other iron parameters were evaluated in groups and classified according to placental P. falciparum and maternal anemia status. Mothers had relatively high hepcidin levels considering their low iron status. In cord blood, levels of hepcidin, hemoglobin, and other iron parameters were also similar for groups. We conclude that maternal hepcidin is not significantly altered as a function of placental infection and/or anemia. Importantly, fetal hemoglobin and iron status were also unaffected, regardless of the presence of placental infection or maternal anemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / blood
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry
  • Hepcidins
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / metabolism*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Placenta Diseases / metabolism*
  • Placenta Diseases / parasitology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • HAMP protein, human
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron