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Impact of Malaria in Pregnancy as Latin America Approaches Elimination

Yanow, Stephanie K., Gavina, Kenneth, Gnidehou, Sedami, Maestre, Amanda
Trends in parasitology 2016 v.32 no.5 pp. 416-427
Plasmodium vivax, basins, burden of disease, diagnostic techniques, liver, malaria, monitoring, pregnancy, pregnant women, risk, Colombia, Latin America
In Latin America, four million pregnancies are at risk of malaria annually, but malaria in pregnancy is largely overlooked. As countries progress toward malaria elimination, targeting reservoirs of transmission is a priority. Pregnant women are an important risk group because they harbor asymptomatic infections and dormant liver stages of Plasmodium vivax that cause relapses. Of significant concern is the discovery that most infections in pregnant women fail to be detected by routine diagnostics. We review here recent findings on malaria in pregnancy within Latin America. We focus on the Amazon basin and Northwest Colombia, areas that harbor the greatest burden of malaria, and propose that more sensitive diagnostics and active surveillance at antenatal clinics will be necessary to eliminate malaria from these final frontiers.