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Placental tumor necrosis factor alpha but not gamma interferon is associated with placental malaria and low birth weight in Malawian women

Rogerson, S. J., Brown, H. C., Pollina, E., Abrams, E. T., Tadesse, E., Lema, V. M. and Molyneux, Malcolm E (2003) 'Placental tumor necrosis factor alpha but not gamma interferon is associated with placental malaria and low birth weight in Malawian women'. Infection and Immunity, Vol 71, Issue 1, pp. 267-270.

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Malaria in pregnancy predisposes to maternal anemia and low birth weight (LBW). We examined the possible roles of the cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in these adverse outcomes. We measured cytokine concentrations in placental, peripheral, and cord blood plasma in relation to malaria parasitemia and placental monocyte accumulation in 276 Malawian women. Maternal hemoglobin concentration, human immunodeficiency virus status, and infant birth weight were determined. Concentrations of TNF-alpha in placental blood were correlated with densities of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (P < 0.0001) and of intervillous monocyte infiltrates (P < 0.0001) on placental histology. Peripheral blood TNF-alpha concentrations were relatively low and were weakly associated with malaria. TNF-alpha concentrations were higher in placental blood, where they were strongly associated with malaria. Placental plasma TNF-alpha levels were higher in women who had LBW babies (P = 0.0027), women with febrile symptoms (P < 0.0001), and teenage mothers (P = 0.04) than in other women. The presence of TNF-alpha in cord blood was not associated with malaria infection. IFN-gamma levels were infrequently elevated, and elevated IFN-gamma levels were not associated with poor pregnancy outcomes. Placental production of TNF-alpha, but not of IFN-gamma, may be implicated in impaired fetal growth in Malawian women.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Antigens and Antibodies. Toxins and Antitoxins > QW 630 Toxins. Antitoxins
QW Microbiology and Immunology > Immunotherapy and Hypersensitivity > QW 800 Biological products producing immunity
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WQ Obstetrics > Pregnancy Complications > WQ 240 Pregnancy complications (General)
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2013 13:32
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 08:56


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