Severe malaria: update on pathophysiology and treatment

Purpose of review Malaria threatens the lives of over 200 million individuals with the disease each year. Plasmodium falciparum is the predominant cause of severe malaria which may be lethal and result in neurocognitive sequelae despite appropriate treatment. We review recent advances regarding the pathophysiology of severe malaria and treatment recommendations for severe disease in the United States. Recent findings Infected red blood cell (iRBC) sequestration in microvascular beds is a critical factor in the development of severe malaria syndromes. Interactions between iRBC variant adhesive peptides and the endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) result in perturbations of coagulation and cytopreservation pathways. Alterations in the protein C/EPCR axis are implicated in cerebral malaria, respiratory distress, and anemia. Brain MRIs reveal the posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome in cerebral malaria patients. Transcriptomic analysis reveals commonalities in disease pathogenesis in children and adults despite differences in clinical presentation. US guidelines for severe malaria treatment currently recommend intravenous artesunate including in pregnant women and children. Summary Despite advances in our understanding of malarial pathogenesis much remains unknown. Antimalarial agents eradicate parasites but no treatments are available to prevent or ameliorate severe malaria or prevent disease sequelae. Further study is needed to develop effective adjunctive ther...
Source: Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: TROPICAL AND TRAVEL-ASSOCIATED DISEASES: Edited by Christina Coyle Source Type: research

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Abstract Malaria etiologies with pathophysiological similarities to hypertension currently constitute a major subject of research. The malaria-high blood pressure hypothesis is strongly supported by observations of the increasing incidence of hypertension in malaria-endemic, low and middle-income countries (LMICs) with poor socio-economic conditions, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries. Malnutrition and low birth weight with persistent symptomatic malaria presentations in pregnancy correlate strongly with the development of preeclampsia, gestational hypertension and subsequent hypertension in adult life....
Source: American Journal of Hypertension - Category: Cardiology Authors: Tags: Am J Hypertens Source Type: research
(Abstracted from Lancet 2019;393:1428–1439.) In Africa, malaria in pregnancy presents a risk to 50 million women each year due to Plasmodium falciparum infection. Although women in endemic areas are typically asymptomatic when infected with malaria parasites, the infection is associated with maternal anemia and adverse birth outcomes including miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality.
Source: Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey - Category: OBGYN Tags: OBSTETRICS: MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS OF PREGNANCY Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: This study has shown that malaria in pregnancy causes a significant decrease in the platelet count and prolongation in the prothrombin (PT) and the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). There is need for the malaria and haemostatic parameters to be assayed routinely on pregnant women particularly those presenting to antenatal clinic with febrile illness. PMID: 31282411 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Human Antibodies - Category: Biochemistry Tags: Hum Antibodies Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Mefloquine was more efficacious than sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in HIV-uninfected women or daily cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in HIV-infected pregnant women for prevention of malaria infection and was associated with lower risk of maternal anaemia, no adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes (such as stillbirths and abortions), and no effects on low birth weight and prematurity. However, the high proportion of mefloquine-related adverse events constitutes an important barrier to its effectiveness for malaria preventive treatment in pregnant women. PMID: 30480761 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews - Category: General Medicine Authors: Tags: Cochrane Database Syst Rev Source Type: research
AbstractBackgroundAnemia in pregnancy may not only be associated with maternal morbidity and mortality but can also be detrimental to the fetus. A definitive diagnosis of anemia is a pre-requisite to unravelling possible cause(s), to allow appropriate treatment intervention. It is hypothesised that measured hemoglobin (HGB), complemented by biochemical and other hematological parameters would enhance anemia diagnosis.MethodsThis was a cross-sectional study among 400 pregnant women comprising 253 anemic and 147 non-anemic pregnant women, attending an antenatal clinic at Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Ghana. Venous blood was ...
Source: BMC Hematology - Category: Hematology Source Type: research
LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog - Emergency medicine and critical care medical education blog aka Tropical Travel Trouble 009 The diagnosis of HIV is no longer fatal and the term AIDS is becoming less frequent. In many countries, people with HIV are living longer than those with diabetes. This post will hopefully teach the basics of a complex disease and demystify some of the potential diseases you need to consider in those who are severely immunosuppressed. While trying to be comprehensive this post can not be exhaustive (as you can imagine any patient with ...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Clinical Cases Tropical Medicine AIDS art cryptococcoma cryptococcus HIV HIV1 HIV2 PEP PrEP TB toxoplasma tuberculoma Source Type: blogs
Group Abstract We measured the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy and estimated its impact on birth weight and length and maternal hemoglobin in 1,180 women from Juruá Valley, the main malaria hotspot in Brazil. Antenatal malaria episodes, 74.6% of them due to Plasmodium vivax, were microscopically diagnosed in 8.0% of the women and were associated with an average reduction in birth weight z-scores of 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.14-0.57) and in birth length z-scores of 0.31 (95% CI = 0.08-0.54), compared with malaria-free pregnancies. Affected mothers had a mean decrease in hemoglobin concentrati...
Source: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene - Category: Tropical Medicine Authors: Tags: Am J Trop Med Hyg Source Type: research
LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog - Emergency medicine and critical care medical education blog aka Tropical Travel Trouble 007 When you think tropical medicine, malaria has to be near the top. It can be fairly complex and fortunately treatment has become a lot simpler. This post is designed to walk you through the basic principals with links to more in depth teaching if your niche is travel medicine, laboratory diagnostics or management of severe or cerebral malaria. If you stubbled on this post while drinking a cup of tea or sitting on the throne and want a fe...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Clinical Cases Tropical Medicine malaria Plasmodium plasmodium falciparum plasmodium knowles plasmodium malariae plasmodium ovale plasmodium vivax Source Type: blogs
Malaria in pregnancy can cause serious adverse outcomes for the mother and the fetus. However, little is known about the effects of submicroscopic infections (SMIs) in pregnancy, particularly in areas where Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax cocirculate. A cohort of 187 pregnant women living in Puerto Libertador in northwest Colombia was followed longitudinally from recruitment to delivery. Malaria was diagnosed by microscopy, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and placental histopathology. Gestational age, hemoglobin concentration, VAR2CSA-specific IgG levels, and adhesion-blocking antibodies were m...
Source: Infection and Immunity - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Fungal and Parasitic Infections Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Mefloquine was more efficacious than sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in HIV-uninfected women or daily cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in HIV-infected pregnant women for prevention of malaria infection and was associated with lower risk of maternal anaemia, no adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes (such as stillbirths and abortions), and no effects on low birth weight and prematurity. However, the high proportion of mefloquine-related adverse events constitutes an important barrier to its effectiveness for malaria preventive treatment in pregnant women. PMID: 29561063 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews - Category: General Medicine Authors: Tags: Cochrane Database Syst Rev Source Type: research
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