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    Point-of-care testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections to improve birth outcomes in high-burden, low-income settings: Study protocol for a cluster randomized crossover trial (the WANTAIM Trial, Papua New Guinea).
    Vallely, AJ ; Pomat, WS ; Homer, C ; Guy, R ; Luchters, S ; Mola, GDL ; Kariwiga, G ; Vallely, LM ; Wiseman, V ; Morgan, C ; Wand, H ; Rogerson, SJ ; Tabrizi, SN ; Whiley, DM ; Low, N ; Peeling, R ; Siba, P ; Riddell, M ; Laman, M ; Bolnga, J ; Robinson, LJ ; Morewaya, J ; Badman, SG ; Batura, N ; Kelly-Hanku, A ; Toliman, PJ ; Peter, W ; Babona, D ; Peach, E ; Garland, SM ; Kaldor, JM (F1000 Research Ltd, 2019)
    Background: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis and bacterial vaginosis have been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight, and are highly prevalent among pregnant women in many low- and middle-income settings. There is conflicting evidence on the potential benefits of screening and treating these infections in pregnancy. Newly available diagnostic technologies make it possible, for the first time, to conduct definitive field trials to fill this knowledge gap. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate whether antenatal point-of-care testing and immediate treatment of these curable sexually transmitted and genital infections (STIs) leads to reduction in preterm birth and low birth weight. Methods: The Women and Newborn Trial of Antenatal Interventions and Management (WANTAIM) is a cluster-randomised crossover trial in Papua New Guinea to compare point-of-care STI testing and immediate treatment with standard antenatal care (which includes the WHO-endorsed STI 'syndromic' management strategy based on clinical features alone without laboratory confirmation). The unit of randomisation is a primary health care facility and its catchment communities. The primary outcome is a composite measure of two events: the proportion of women and their newborns in each trial arm, who experience either preterm birth (delivery <37 completed weeks of gestation as determined by ultrasound) and/or low birth weight (<2500 g measured within 72 hours of birth). The trial will also evaluate neonatal outcomes, as well as the cost-effectiveness, acceptability and health system requirements of this strategy, compared with standard care. Conclusions: WANTAIM is the first randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, acceptability and health system requirements of point-of-care STI testing and treatment to improve birth outcomes in high-burden settings. If the intervention is proven to have an impact, the trial will hasten access to these technologies and could improve maternal and neonatal health in high-burden settings worldwide. Registration: ISRCTN37134032.
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    Point-of-care testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections to improve birth outcomes in high-burden, low-income settings: Study protocol for a cluster randomized crossover trial (the WANTAIM Trial, Papua New Guinea)
    Vallely, A ; Pomat, W ; Homer, C ; Guy, R ; Luchters, S ; Mola, G ; Kariwiga, G ; Vallely, L ; Wiseman, V ; Morgan, C ; Wand, H ; Rogerson, S ; Tabrizi, S ; Whiley, D ; Low, N ; Peeling, R ; Siba, P ; Riddell, M ; Laman, M ; Bolnga, J ; Robinson, L ; Morewaya, J ; Badman, S ; Batura, N ; Kelly-Hanku, A ; Toliman, P ; Peter, W ; Babona, D ; Peach, E ; Garland, S ; Kaldor, J (F1000 Research Ltd, 2019-03-22)
    Background: Chlamydia trachomatis , Neisseria gonorrhoeae , Trichomonas vaginalis and bacterial vaginosis have been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight, and are highly prevalent among pregnant women in many low- and middle-income settings. There is conflicting evidence on the potential benefits of screening and treating these infections in pregnancy. Newly available diagnostic technologies make it possible, for the first time, to conduct definitive field trials to fill this knowledge gap. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate whether antenatal point-of-care testing and immediate treatment of these curable sexually transmitted and genital infections (STIs) leads to reduction in preterm birth and low birth weight. Methods : The Women and Newborn Trial of Antenatal Interventions and Management (WANTAIM) is a cluster-randomised crossover trial in Papua New Guinea to compare point-of-care STI testing and immediate treatment with standard antenatal care (which includes the WHO-endorsed STI ‘syndromic’ management strategy based on clinical features alone without laboratory confirmation). The unit of randomisation is a primary health care facility and its catchment communities. The primary outcome is a composite measure of two events: the proportion of women and their newborns in each trial arm, who experience either preterm birth (delivery <37 completed weeks of gestation as determined by ultrasound) and/or low birth weight (<2500 g measured within 72 hours of birth). The trial will also evaluate neonatal outcomes, as well as the cost-effectiveness, acceptability and health system requirements of this strategy, compared with standard care. Conclusions: WANTAIM is the first randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, acceptability and health system requirements of point-of-care STI testing and treatment to improve birth outcomes in high-burden settings. If the intervention is proven to have an impact, the trial will hasten access to these technologies and could improve maternal and neonatal health in high-burden settings worldwide. Registration: ISRCTN37134032 .
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    A Randomized Open-Label Evaluation of the Antimalarial Prophylactic Efficacy of Azithromycin-Piperaquine versus Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in Pregnant Papua New Guinean Women
    Moore, BR ; Benjamin, JM ; Tobe, R ; Ome-Kaius, M ; Yadi, G ; Kasian, B ; Kong, C ; Robinson, LJ ; Laman, M ; Mueller, I ; Rogerson, S ; Davis, TME (American Society for Microbiology, 2019-10-01)
    Emerging malaria parasite sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance has prompted assessment of alternatives for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). The objective was to evaluate the tolerability and prophylactic efficacy of azithromycin (AZ) plus piperaquine (PQ) in pregnant women in Papua New Guinea. The study was an open-label, randomized, parallel-group trial. A total of 122 women (median gestation, 26 weeks [range, 14 to 32 weeks]) were randomized 1:1 to three daily doses of 1 g AZ plus 960 mg PQ tetraphosphate or single-dose SP (4,500 mg sulfadoxine plus 225 mg pyrimethamine), based on computer-generated block randomization. Tolerability was assessed to day 7, and efficacy was assessed to day 42 (when participants were returned to usual care) and at delivery. Data for 119 participants (AZ-PQ, n = 61; SP, n = 58) were analyzed. Both regimens were well tolerated, but AZ-PQ was associated with more gastrointestinal side effects (31%) and dizziness (21%). Eight women (6.7%) were parasitemic at recruitment but all were aparasitemic by 72 h. There were no differences in blood smear positivity rates between AZ-PQ and SP up to day 42 (0% versus 5.2%; relative risk [RR], 0.14 [95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01 to 2.58] [P = 0.18]; absolute risk reduction [ARR], 5.2% [95% CI, -1.3 to 11.6%]) and at the time of delivery (0% versus 8.7%; RR, 0.11 [95% CI, 0.01 to 2.01] [P = 0.14]; ARR, 8.7% [95% CI, -0.2 to 17.6%]). Of 92 women who were monitored to parturition, 89 (97%) delivered healthy babies; there were 3 stillbirths (SP, n = 1; AZ-PQ, n = 2 [twins]). There was a higher live birth weight (mean ± standard deviation) in the AZ-PQ group (3.13 ± 0.42 versus 2.88 ± 0.55 kg [P = 0.016]; mean difference, 0.25 kg [95% CI, 0.02 to 0.48 kg]). AZ-PQ is a promising candidate for IPTp.
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    Point-of-care testing and treatment of sexually transmitted and genital infections during pregnancy in Papua New Guinea (WANTAIM trial): protocol for an economic evaluation alongside a cluster-randomised trial
    Batura, N ; Saweri, OPM ; Vallely, A ; Pomat, W ; Homer, C ; Guy, R ; Luchters, S ; Mola, G ; Vallely, LM ; Morgan, C ; Kariwiga, G ; Wand, H ; Rogerson, S ; Tabrizi, SN ; Whiley, DM ; Low, N ; Peeling, RW ; Siba, PM ; Riddell, M ; Laman, M ; Bolnga, J ; Robinson, LJ ; Morewaya, J ; Badman, S ; Kelly-Hanku, A ; Toliman, PJ ; Peter, W ; Peach, E ; Garland, S ; Kaldor, J ; Wiseman, V (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-01-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Left untreated, sexually transmitted and genital infections (henceforth STIs) in pregnancy can lead to serious adverse outcomes for mother and child. Papua New Guinea (PNG) has among the highest prevalence of curable STIs including syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis, and high neonatal mortality rates. Diagnosis and treatment of these STIs in PNG rely on syndromic management. Advances in STI diagnostics through point-of-care (PoC) testing using GeneXpert technology hold promise for resource-constrained countries such as PNG. This paper describes the planned economic evaluation of a cluster-randomised cross-over trial comparing antenatal PoC testing and immediate treatment of curable STIs with standard antenatal care in two provinces in PNG. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Cost-effectiveness of the PoC intervention compared with standard antenatal care will be assessed prospectively over the trial period (2017-2021) from societal and provider perspectives. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios will be calculated for the primary health outcome, a composite measure of the proportion of either preterm birth and/or low birth weight; for life years saved; for disability-adjusted life years averted; and for non-health benefits (financial risk protection and improved health equity). Scenario analyses will be conducted to identify scale-up options, and budget impact analysis will be undertaken to understand short-term financial impacts of intervention adoption on the national budget. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis will be conducted to account for uncertainty in key model inputs. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has ethical approval from the Institutional Review Board of the PNG Institute of Medical Research; the Medical Research Advisory Committee of the PNG National Department of Health; the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New South Wales; and the Research Ethics Committee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Findings will be disseminated through national stakeholder meetings, conferences, peer-reviewed publications and policy briefs. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN37134032.
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    Differential impact of malaria control interventions on P. falciparum and P. vivax infections in young Papua New Guinean children
    Ome-Kaius, M ; Kattenberg, JH ; Zaloumis, S ; Siba, M ; Kiniboro, B ; Jally, S ; Razook, Z ; Mantila, D ; Sui, D ; Ginny, J ; Rosanas-Urgell, A ; Karl, S ; Obadia, T ; Barry, A ; Rogerson, SJ ; Laman, M ; Tisch, D ; Felger, I ; Kazura, JW ; Mueller, I ; Robinson, LJ (BMC, 2019-12-09)
    INTRODUCTION: As malaria transmission declines, understanding the differential impact of intensified control on Plasmodium falciparum relative to Plasmodium vivax and identifying key drivers of ongoing transmission is essential to guide future interventions. METHODS: Three longitudinal child cohorts were conducted in Papua New Guinea before (2006/2007), during (2008) and after scale-up of control interventions (2013). In each cohort, children aged 1-5 years were actively monitored for infection and illness. Incidence of malaria episodes, molecular force of blood-stage infections (molFOB) and population-averaged prevalence of infections were compared across the cohorts to investigate the impact of intensified control in young children and the key risk factors for malaria infection and illness in 2013. RESULTS: Between 2006 and 2008, P. falciparum infection prevalence, molFOB, and clinical malaria episodes reduced by 47%, 59% and 69%, respectively, and a further 49%, 29% and 75% from 2008 to 2013 (prevalence 41.6% to 22.1% to 11.2%; molFOB: 3.4 to 1.4 to 1.0 clones/child/year; clinical episodes incidence rate (IR) 2.6 to 0.8 to IR 0.2 episodes/child/year). P. vivax clinical episodes declined at rates comparable to P. falciparum between 2006, 2008 and 2013 (IR 2.5 to 1.1 to 0.2), while P. vivax molFOB (2006, 9.8; 2008, 12.1) and prevalence (2006, 59.6%; 2008, 65.0%) remained high in 2008. However, in 2013, P. vivax molFOB (1.2) and prevalence (19.7%) had also substantially declined. In 2013, 89% of P. falciparum and 93% of P. vivax infections were asymptomatic, 62% and 47%, respectively, were sub-microscopic. Area of residence was the major determinant of malaria infection and illness. CONCLUSION: Intensified vector control and routine case management had a differential impact on rates of P. falciparum and P. vivax infections but not clinical malaria episodes in young children. This suggests comparable reductions in new mosquito-derived infections but a delayed impact on P. vivax relapsing infections due to a previously acquired reservoir of hypnozoites. This demonstrates the need to strengthen implementation of P. vivax radical cure to maximise impact of control in co-endemic areas. The high heterogeneity of malaria in 2013 highlights the importance of surveillance and targeted interventions to accelerate towards elimination.
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    Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Malaria in Papua New Guinean Infants Exposed to Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    Senn, N ; Rarau, P ; Stanisic, DI ; Robinson, L ; Barnadas, C ; Manong, D ; Salib, M ; Iga, J ; Tarongka, N ; Ley, S ; Rosanas-Urgell, A ; Aponte, JJ ; Zimmerman, PA ; Beeson, JG ; Schofield, L ; Siba, P ; Rogerson, SJ ; Reeder, JC ; Mueller, I ; Krishna, S (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: Intermittent preventive treatment in infants (IPTi) has been shown in randomized trials to reduce malaria-related morbidity in African infants living in areas of high Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) transmission. It remains unclear whether IPTi is an appropriate prevention strategy in non-African settings or those co-endemic for P. vivax (Pv). METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, 1,121 Papua New Guinean infants were enrolled into a three-arm placebo-controlled randomized trial and assigned to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) (25 mg/kg and 1.25 mg/kg) plus amodiaquine (AQ) (10 mg/kg, 3 d, n = 374), SP plus artesunate (AS) (4 mg/kg, 3 d, n = 374), or placebo (n = 373), given at 3, 6, 9 and 12 mo. Both participants and study teams were blinded to treatment allocation. The primary end point was protective efficacy (PE) against all episodes of clinical malaria from 3 to 15 mo of age. Analysis was by modified intention to treat. The PE (compared to placebo) against clinical malaria episodes (caused by all species) was 29% (95% CI, 10-43, p ≤ 0.001) in children receiving SP-AQ and 12% (95% CI, -11 to 30, p = 0.12) in those receiving SP-AS. Efficacy was higher against Pf than Pv. In the SP-AQ group, Pf incidence was 35% (95% CI, 9-54, p = 0.012) and Pv incidence was 23% (95% CI, 0-41, p = 0.048) lower than in the placebo group. IPTi with SP-AS protected only against Pf episodes (PE = 31%, 95% CI, 4-51, p = 0.027), not against Pv episodes (PE = 6%, 95% CI, -24 to 26, p = 0.759). Number of observed adverse events/serious adverse events did not differ between treatment arms (p > 0.55). None of the serious adverse events were thought to be treatment-related, and the vomiting rate was low in both treatment groups (1.4%-2.0%). No rebound in malaria morbidity was observed for 6 mo following the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: IPTi using a long half-life drug combination is efficacious for the prevention of malaria and anemia in infants living in a region highly endemic for both Pf and Pv.
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    Microscopic and submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum infection, maternal anaemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes in Papua New Guinea: a cohort study
    Unger, HW ; Rosanas-Urgell, A ; Robinson, LJ ; Ome-Kaius, M ; Jally, S ; Umbers, AJ ; Pomat, W ; Mueller, I ; Kattenberg, E ; Rogerson, SJ (BMC, 2019-09-02)
    BACKGROUND: Infection during pregnancy with Plasmodium falciparum is associated with maternal anaemia and adverse birth outcomes including low birth weight (LBW). Studies using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques indicate that at least half of all infections in maternal venous blood are missed by light microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests. The impact of these subpatent infections on maternal and birth outcomes remains unclear. METHODS: In a cohort of women co-enrolled in a clinical trial of intermittent treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) plus azithromycin for the prevention of LBW (< 2500 g) in Papua New Guinea (PNG), P. falciparum infection status at antenatal enrolment and delivery was assessed by routine light microscopy and real-time quantitative PCR. The impact of infection status at enrolment and delivery on adverse birth outcomes and maternal haemoglobin at delivery was assessed using logistic and linear regression models adjusting for potential confounders. Together with insecticide-treated bed nets, women had received up to 3 monthly intermittent preventive treatments with SP plus azithromycin or a single clearance treatment with SP plus chloroquine. RESULTS: A total of 9.8% (214/2190) of women had P. falciparum (mono-infection or mixed infection with Plasmodium vivax) detected in venous blood at antenatal enrolment at 14-26 weeks' gestation. 4.7% of women had microscopic, and 5.1% submicroscopic P. falciparum infection. At delivery (n = 1936), 1.5% and 2.0% of women had submicroscopic and microscopic P. falciparum detected in peripheral blood, respectively. Submicroscopic P. falciparum infections at enrolment or at delivery in peripheral or placental blood were not associated with maternal anaemia or adverse birth outcomes such as LBW. Microscopic P. falciparum infection at antenatal enrolment was associated with anaemia at delivery (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09, 3.67; P = 0.025). Peripheral microscopic P. falciparum infection at delivery was associated with LBW (aOR 2.75, 95% CI 1.27; 5.94, P = 0.010) and preterm birth (aOR 6.58, 95% CI 2.46, 17.62; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of P. falciparum infections in pregnant women in PNG were submicroscopic. Microscopic, but not submicroscopic, infections were associated with adverse outcomes in women receiving malaria preventive treatment and insecticide-treated bed nets. Current malaria prevention policies that combine insecticide-treated bed nets, intermittent preventive treatment and prompt treatment of symptomatic infections appear to be appropriate for the management of malaria in pregnancy in settings like PNG.
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    Risk factors and pregnancy outcomes associated with placental malaria in a prospective cohort of Papua New Guinean women
    Lufele, E ; Umbers, A ; Ordi, J ; Ome-Kaius, M ; Wangnapi, R ; Unger, H ; Tarongka, N ; Siba, P ; Mueller, I ; Robinson, L ; Rogerson, S (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2017-10-24)
    BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum in pregnancy results in substantial poor health outcomes for both mother and child, particularly in young, primigravid mothers who are at greatest risk of placental malaria (PM) infection. Complications of PM include maternal anaemia, low birth weight and preterm delivery, which contribute to maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in coastal Papua New Guinea (PNG). METHODS: Placental biopsies were examined from 1451 pregnant women who were enrolled in a malaria prevention study at 14-26 weeks gestation. Clinical and demographic information were collected at first antenatal clinic visits and women were followed until delivery. Placental biopsies were collected and examined for PM using histology. The presence of infected erythrocytes and/or the malaria pigment in monocytes or fibrin was used to determine the type of placental infection. RESULTS: Of 1451 placentas examined, PM infection was detected in 269 (18.5%), of which 54 (3.7%) were acute, 55 (3.8%) chronic, and 160 (11.0%) were past infections. Risk factors for PM included residing in rural areas (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.65, 95% CI 1.76-7.51; p ≤ 0.001), being primigravid (AOR 2.45, 95% CI 1.26-4.77; p = 0.008) and having symptomatic malaria during pregnancy (AOR 2.05, 95% CI 1.16-3.62; p = 0.013). After adjustment for covariates, compared to uninfected women, acute infections (AOR 1.97, 95% CI 0.98-3.95; p = 0.056) were associated with low birth weight babies, whereas chronic infections were associated with preterm delivery (AOR 3.92, 95% CI 1.64-9.38; p = 0.002) and anaemia (AOR 2.22, 95% CI 1.02-4.84; p = 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: Among pregnant PNG women receiving at least one dose of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy and using insecticide-treated bed nets, active PM infections were associated with adverse outcomes. Improved malaria prevention is required to optimize pregnancy outcomes.
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    Naturally Acquired Binding-Inhibitory Antibodies to Plasmodium vivax Duffy Binding Protein in Pregnant Women Are Associated with Higher Birth Weight in a Multicenter Study
    Requena, P ; Arevalo-Herrera, M ; Menegon, M ; Martinez-Espinosa, FE ; Padilla, N ; Botto-Menezes, C ; Malheiro, A ; Hans, D ; Eugenia Castellanos, M ; Robinson, L ; Samol, P ; Kochar, S ; Kochar, SK ; Kochar, DK ; Desai, M ; Sanz, S ; Quinto, L ; Mayor, A ; Rogerson, S ; Mueller, I ; Severini, C ; del Portillo, HA ; Bardaji, A ; Chitnis, CC ; Menendez, C ; Dobano, C (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2017-02-17)
    A vaccine to eliminate malaria would need a multi-stage and multi-species composition to achieve robust protection, but the lack of knowledge about antigen targets and mechanisms of protection precludes the development of fully efficacious malaria vaccines, especially for Plasmodium vivax (Pv). Pregnant women constitute a risk population who would greatly benefit from a vaccine preventing the adverse events of Plasmodium infection during gestation. We hypothesized that functional immune responses against putative targets of naturally acquired immunity to malaria and vaccine candidates will be associated with protection against malaria infection and/or poor outcomes during pregnancy. We measured (i) IgG responses to a large panel of Pv and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) antigens, (ii) the capacity of anti-Pv ligand Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) antibodies to inhibit binding to Duffy antigen, and (iii) cellular immune responses to two Pv antigens, in a subset of 1,056 pregnant women from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, India, and Papua New Guinea (PNG). There were significant intraspecies and interspecies correlations for most antibody responses (e.g., PfMSP119 versus PfAMA1, Spearman's rho = 0.81). Women from PNG and Colombia had the highest levels of IgG overall. Submicroscopic infections seemed sufficient to boost antibody responses in Guatemala but not antigen-specific cellular responses in PNG. Brazil had the highest percentage of Duffy binding inhibition (p-values versus Colombia: 0.040; Guatemala: 0.047; India: 0.003, and PNG: 0.153) despite having low anti-PvDBP IgG levels. Almost all antibodies had a positive association with present infection, and coinfection with the other species increased this association. Anti-PvDBP, anti-PfMSP1, and anti-PfAMA1 IgG levels at recruitment were positively associated with infection at delivery (p-values: 0.010, 0.003, and 0.023, respectively), suggesting that they are markers of malaria exposure. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Pv-infected women presented fewer CD8+IFN-γ+ T cells and secreted more G-CSF and IL-4 independently of the stimulus used in vitro. Functional anti-PvDBP levels at recruitment had a positive association with birth weight (difference per doubling antibody levels: 45 g, p-value: 0.046). Thus, naturally acquired binding-inhibitory antibodies to PvDBP might confer protection against poor outcomes of Pv malaria in pregnancy.
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    Does Malaria Affect Placental Development? Evidence from In Vitro Models
    Umbers, AJ ; Stanisic, DI ; Ome, M ; Wangnapi, R ; Hanieh, S ; Unger, HW ; Robinson, LJ ; Lufele, E ; Baiwog, F ; Siba, PM ; King, CL ; Beeson, JG ; Mueller, I ; Aplin, JD ; Glazier, JD ; Rogerson, SJ ; Hviid, L (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-01-31)
    BACKGROUND: Malaria in early pregnancy is difficult to study but has recently been associated with fetal growth restriction (FGR). The pathogenic mechanisms underlying malarial FGR are poorly characterized, but may include impaired placental development. We used in vitro methods that model migration and invasion of placental trophoblast into the uterine wall to investigate whether soluble factors released into maternal blood in malaria infection might impair placental development. Because trophoblast invasion is enhanced by a number of hormones and chemokines, and is inhibited by pro-inflammatory cytokines, many of which are dysregulated in malaria in pregnancy, we further compared concentrations of these factors in blood between malaria-infected and uninfected pregnancies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured trophoblast invasion, migration and viability in response to treatment with serum or plasma from two independent cohorts of Papua New Guinean women infected with Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax in early pregnancy. Compared to uninfected women, serum and plasma from women with P. falciparum reduced trophoblast invasion (P = .06) and migration (P = .004). P. vivax infection did not alter trophoblast migration (P = .64). The P. falciparum-specific negative effect on placental development was independent of trophoblast viability, but associated with high-density infections. Serum from P. falciparum infected women tended to have lower levels of trophoblast invasion promoting hormones and factors and higher levels of invasion-inhibitory inflammatory factors. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that in vitro models of placental development can be adapted to indirectly study the impact of malaria in early pregnancy. These infections could result in impaired trophoblast invasion with reduced transformation of maternal spiral arteries due to maternal hormonal and inflammatory disturbances, which may contribute to FGR by limiting the delivery of maternal blood to the placenta. Future prevention strategies for malaria in pregnancy should include protection in the first half of pregnancy.