Congenital malaria in newborns selected for low birth-weight, anemia, and other possible symptoms in Maumere, Indonesia

Loeki Enggar Fitri, Natalia Erica Jahja, Irene Ratridewi Huwae, Mario B Nara, Nicole Berens-Riha

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Congenital malaria is assumed to be a risk factor for infant morbidity and mortality in endemic areas like Maumere, Indonesia. Infected infants are susceptible to its impact such as premature labor, low birth weight, anemia, and other unspecified symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of congenital malaria and the influence of mother-infant paired parasite densities on the clinical outcome of the newborns at TC Hillers Hospital, Maumere. An analytical cross sectional study was carried out in newborns which showed criteria associated with congenital malaria. A thick and thin blood smear confirmed by nested PCR was performed in both mothers and infants. The association of congenital malaria with the newborn's health status was then assessed. From 112 mother-infant pairs included in this study, 92 were evaluated further. Thirty-nine infants (42.4%) were found to be infected and half of them were asymptomatic. Infected newborns had a 4.7 times higher risk in developing anemia compared to uninfected newborns (95% CI, 1.3-17.1). The hemoglobin level, erythrocyte amount, and hematocrit level were affected by the infants' parasite densities (P<0.05). Focusing on newborns at risk of congenital malaria, the prevalence is almost 3 times higher than in an unselected collective. Low birth weight, anemia, and pre-term birth were the most common features. Anemia seems to be significantly influenced by infant parasite densities but not by maternal parasitemia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalKorean Journal of Parasitology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Anemia/etiology
  • Blood/parasitology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indonesia/epidemiology
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malaria/congenital
  • Male
  • Microscopy
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence


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