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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


LOPEZ-GUZMAN, Carolina  and  CARMONA-FONSECA, Jaime. Submicroscopic placental malaria: histopathology and expression of physiological process mediators. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.2, pp.220-228. ISSN 1726-4634.


To relate histopathological events of placental malaria (PM), immune cell behavior and gene expression associated with cytokines, hypoxia, inflammation and angiogenesis in placentas with or without plasmodial infection.

Materials and methods:

Transversal design, with three independent groups. Women were recruited, and their placentas were collected in 2009-2016, in the hospitals of Puerto Libertador and Tierralta, northwestern Colombia. The sample size was defined by convenience. The malaria diagnosis was based on real-time quantitative PCR.


We studied 20 cases of PM by P. vivax (PM-V), 20 cases of PM by P. falciparum (PM-F) and 19 without PM; 95% of the cases of PM are submicroscopic placental plasmodial infection (SPPI). The three groups differ in frequency and number of histopathological events. Physiological process mediators showed significant difference between groups, except IL-2, VEGF, VEGFR-1 and C5a.


Infected placentas are clearly different from uninfected ones. P. vivax behaves as pathogenic as P. falciparum. The approximation to the integral approach of the problem of PM is underlined. Submicroscopic placental plasmodial infection causes tissue and physiological mediator alterations as does microscopic infection, although probably to a lesser degree.

Keywords : Malaria; Plasmodium; Placenta; Histopathology; Pathology; Mediator; Colombia (source: MeSH NLM)..

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