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Infect Immun. 2003 Nov;71(11):6620-3.

Antibodies that inhibit Plasmodium falciparum adhesion to chondroitin sulfate A are associated with increased birth weight and the gestational age of newborns.

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  • 1Malaria Antigen Discovery Program, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA. patrick.duffy@sbri.org


Antibodies that inhibit Plasmodium falciparum adhesion to the placental receptor chondroitin sulfate A are associated with a reduced risk of placental malaria, but whether these antibodies lead to improved pregnancy outcomes is unknown. We measured antiadhesion antibody levels in parturient women in western Kenya, where malaria transmission is intense. Secundigravid women with antiadhesion activity in their plasma delivered babies that were on average 398 g heavier (P = 0.019) and 2 weeks more mature (P = 0.002) than babies delivered to secundigravidas without antiadhesion activity. Our findings support the development of antiadhesion vaccines to prevent poor fetal outcomes due to pregnancy malaria.

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