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Case Reports in Infectious Diseases
Volume 2019, Article ID 2630825, 3 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2630825
Case Report

Severe Case of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in a Pregnant Woman from Nigeria

1University of Florida, Department of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA
2University of Florida, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Gainesville, FL, USA
3University of Florida, Division of Infectious Diseases & Global Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Gautam Kalyatanda; moc.liamg@haiabus.matuag

Received 12 March 2019; Accepted 28 August 2019; Published 29 October 2019

Academic Editor: Tomoyuki Shibata

Copyright © 2019 Kruti Yagnik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Human malaria has arguably affected more of human history than any other pathogen. Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing severe malaria as well as the risk of severe complications. We present a case of severe malaria in a pregnant patient from sub-Saharan Africa who was treated successfully with artesunate. A 28-year-old Nigerian woman with a 20-week intrauterine pregnancy presented with a five-day history of fever and diffuse joint pains. Evaluation of peripheral thin blood smear demonstrated a parasitemia of 9.8%. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit, and oral clindamycin/quinine was initiated until intravenous artesunate was obtained. The patient completed four doses of IV artesunate, and after the 4th dose of artesunate, no blood parasites were seen on peripheral smear. The patient was discharged home and, upon clinic follow-up, did not have any further complications associated with either her disease or therapy. A review on the treatment of severe malaria in all trimesters of pregnancy supports the WHO recommendation for intravenous artesunate as the drug of choice. This case illustrates the importance of recognizing malaria in pregnant women from endemic countries and shows that artesunate compounds can be used safely in pregnancy, particularly with high parasitemia.