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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-33

Impact of oxidative stress in response to malarial infection during pregnancy: Complications, histological changes, and pregnancy outcomes

1 Department of Biochemistry, Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
2 Light House Polyclinic, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Sampoorna Clinic, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Biochemistry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
5 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA

Correspondence Address:
Rajeshwara N Achur
Department of Biochemistry, Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta, Shivamogga, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_18_20

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Background and Objectives: Pregnancy malaria is a major underestimated global public health problem. To understand the involvement of oxidative stress (OS) in the pathophysiology of placental malaria, OS biomarkers, malondialdehyde (MDA), uric acid (UA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels were analyzed and correlated to placental histopathological changes and pregnancy outcomes. Methods: A hospital-based study was conducted in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, to analyze the changes in hematological parameters and the serum OS biomarker levels. Histological analysis of placenta, associated complications, and pregnancy outcomes were compared using Kruskal–Wallis test, and pairwise comparison between two groups was made by Mann–Whitney U-test. Correlations were calculated by Pearson's and Spearman's rank correlations. Results: Among 105 pregnant women, 34 were healthy controls and the infected group comprised of Plasmodium Vivax (Pv) (n = 48), Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) (n = 13), and mixed (n = 10) malaria infections. Of 71 infected cases, 67.6% had mild malaria, whereas 32.4% had severe malaria. The white blood cell and C-reactive protein levels were found to increase, whereas hemoglobin, red blood cell, and platelet levels decreased during both types of malarial infections. The MDA and UA values increased and SOD levels decreased particularly during severe Pf infections. Histological changes such as syncytial knots, syncytial ruptures, and fibrinoid necrosis were observed particularly during Pf infections and leukocyte infiltration was observed in Pv malaria Conclusion: Evaluation of MDA, UA, and SOD levels can serve as an indicator of OS during pregnancy malaria. The OS during pregnancy may lead to complications such as severe anemia, pulmonary edema, intra uterine growth retardation, premature delivery, and low birth weight, not only during Pf but also in Pv malaria. It is important to create awareness among rural and immigrant population residing in Mangaluru and its surroundings about required preventive measures and free government-supported antenatal care services.

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