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ABO blood group phenotypes influence parity specific immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Malawian women

Senga, E., Loscertales, M.P., Makwakwa, K., Liomba, G. N., Dzamalala, C., Kazembe, P. N. and Brabin, Bernard (2007) 'ABO blood group phenotypes influence parity specific immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Malawian women'. Malaria Journal, Vol 6.

ABO_blood_group_phenotypes_influence_parity_specific_immunity_to_Plasmodium_falciparum_malaria_in_Malawian_women.pdf - Published Version
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Background: Blood group O has been significantly associated with increased placental malaria infection in primiparae and reduced risk of infection in multiparae in the Gambia, an area with markedly seasonal malaria transmission. This study analyses the association between ABO blood group phenotypes in relation to placental malaria pathology and birth outcomes in southern Malawi, an area with perennial malaria transmission.
Methods: A cross- sectional study of 647 mother/ child pairs delivering in Montfort Hospital, Chikwawa District between February- June 2004 and January- July 2005 was undertaken. Maternal peripheral and cord blood samples were obtained at delivery. Placental tissue was obtained and malaria histology classified as active, past or no malaria infection. Birth anthropometry was recorded. ABO blood group was measured by agglutination.
Results: In primiparae, blood group O was significantly associated with increased risk of active placental infection ( OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.15 - 4.6, p = 0.02) and an increased foetal- placental weight ratio compared to non- O phenotypes ( 5.68 versus 5.45, p = 0.03) In multiparae blood group O was significantly associated with less frequent active placental infection ( OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.36 - 0.98, p = 0.04), and a higher newborn ponderal index compared to non- O phenotypes ( 2.65 versus 2.55, p = 0.007). In multivariate regression parity was independently associated with increased risk of placental malaria ( active andpast infection) in primiparae with blood group O ( p = 0.034) and reduced risk in multiparae with the same phenotype ( p = 0.015).
Conclusion: Parity related susceptibility to placental malaria is associated with the mothers ABO phenotype. This interaction influences foetal and placental growth and could be an important modifying factor for pregnancy outcomes. The biological explanation could relate to sialic acid dependent placental membrane differences which vary with ABO blood group.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: pregnant-women placental malaria mothers gambia age
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Protozoa > QX 135 Plasmodia
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WQ Obstetrics > Pregnancy Complications > WQ 256 Infectious diseases
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Pauline Anderson
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 16:45
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:01


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