An overview of malaria in pregnancy

Semin Perinatol. 2019 Aug;43(5):282-290. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2019.03.018. Epub 2019 Mar 16.


One hundred twenty-five million pregnant women are at risk for contracting malaria, a preventable cause of maternal and infant morbidity and death. Malaria parasites contribute to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes due to their preferential accumulation in placental intervillous spaces. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria infections, and malaria infections during pregnancy put their fetuses at risk. Malaria in pregnancy is associated with anemia, stillbirth, low birth weight and maternal and fetal death. We review the challenges to diagnosing malaria in pregnancy, as well as strategies to prevent and treat malaria in pregnancy. Finally, we discuss the current gaps in knowledge and potential areas for continued research.

Keywords: Africa; Asia; Malaria; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Coinfection
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Malaria / drug therapy
  • Malaria / epidemiology
  • Malaria / transmission*
  • Malaria Vaccines
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / parasitology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnant Women


  • Antimalarials
  • Malaria Vaccines