Publications & Reports

High numbers of circulating pigmented polymorphonuclear neutrophils as a prognostic marker for decreased birth weight during malaria in pregnancy.

Caroline Lin Lin Chua, Leanne J Robinson, Francesca Baiwog, Danielle I Stanisic, John A Hamilton, Graham V Brown, Stephen J Rogerson, Philippe Boeuf
Department of Medicine, The Doherty Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia.


During gestational malaria, Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes can sequester within the placenta, contributing to poor pregnancy outcomes, especially low birth weight. In children and non-pregnant adults, pigmented leukocytes may serve as markers of sequestered parasite burden and predict clinical outcomes. Here, we investigated circulating pigmented leukocyte numbers as predictors of clinical outcomes in pregnant women presenting with malaria at enrolment. The number of circulating pigmented neutrophils at enrolment negatively correlated with birth weight (Rho=-25, P=.04), suggesting these cells may have a pathogenic role in, and could serve as prognostic markers for, malaria-associated low birth weight.


  • Journal: International Journal for Parasitology
  • Published: 01/02/2015
  • Volume: 45
  • Issue: 2-3
  • Pagination: 107-111