A recent case of congenital malaria in Singapore

Singapore Med J. 1996 Oct;37(5):541-3.


We report a case of congenital malaria in a 2-month-old baby girl, born in Singapore of a Singaporean mother, who presented with fever for one week, gross hepatosplenomegaly and anaemia (haemoglobin 5.6 g/dL) and thrombocytopenia. Peripheral blood films showed Plasmodium vivax. There was no local transmission at that time, but the mother had spent the first 6 months of her pregnancy in Pakistan, where she had been treated for prolonged fever at 4 months amenorrhoea with ibuprofen alone. The mother and 2 siblings were asymptomatic and repeatedly tested negative on blood films for malaria parasites, but the mother tested positive for antibodies to Plasmodium on the Fluorescent Antibody Test. The child was treated with oral chloroquine and made an uneventful recovery. We postulate that this is believed to be the first recent case of congenital malaria in Singapore since it was declared malaria free in 1982. The diagnosis should be considered in babies of mothers who have travelled to places where malaria is endemic, as maternal infection may be unrecognised, and the child may be asymptomatic at birth.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Malaria / congenital
  • Malaria / etiology*
  • Malaria / transmission
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Singapore


  • Antimalarials