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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 486042, 6 pages
Research Article

Molecular Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Matched Peripheral and Placental Blood Samples from Delivering Women in Libreville, Gabon

Département de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Université des Sciences de la Santé, 4009 Libreville, Gabon

Received 2 August 2014; Revised 15 October 2014; Accepted 15 October 2014; Published 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Polrat Wilairatana

Copyright © 2014 Marie L. Tshibola Mbuyi 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.


Submicroscopic infections account for more than 50% of all Plasmodium (P.) infections in areas with decreasing malaria prevalence and might contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes. The frequency of submicroscopic P. falciparum infections was assessed in matched peripheral and placental blood samples with microscopy negative or discordant results according to IPTp administration. Methods. P. falciparum infection was detected by nested PCR in matched blood samples collected from delivering women with a history of antimalarial drug treatment and living in Gabon. Results. Submicroscopic P. falciparum infections were detected in 87% () of the 44 selected matched samples. Plasmodial DNA was found in 90% () and 87% () of microscopy negative peripheral and placental blood samples, respectively. Overall, 95% of samples obtained during the high IPTp-SP coverage period had a submicroscopic infection versus 79% among those from the low coverage period. Conclusion. Submicroscopic infections frequency is high in peripheral and placental blood samples from delivering women with a history of antimalarial treatment whatever the level of IPTp coverage. These data highlight the need of accurate diagnostic tools for a regular antenatal screening of malaria during the pregnancy in endemic areas.