Haemozoin Deposits Influence Fetal Weight of Pregnant Mice Infected by Plasmodium berghei


  • Desy Andari
  • Loeki E Fitri
  • Karyono Mintaroem




Low birth weight is commonly attributed to malaria in pregnancy, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie this are incompletely understood. Many of hormones and cytokines are dysregulated in this case and it alters histological structure of placenta which known as placenta malaria. In the placenta malaria, there is an accumulation of infected erythrocytes, macrophages and malarial pigment (haemozoin). This study was conducted to compare the levels of plasma and placenta interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and haemozoin deposit in pregnant mice that infected by Plasmodium berghei (treatment group) to the normal pregnant mice (control group) and its association with fetal weight. This in vivo experimental laboratory study used pregnant Balb/c mice which divided to control and treatment group. Placentas were staining with Haematoxylin-Eosin (HE) for haemozoin deposits examination. Plasma and placenta levels of IFN-γ examined with ELISA assay. Levels of IFN-γ were higher in plasma than placenta and slightly higher in treatment group than control group, but the differences were not significant (p>0,05). Fetal weight of treatment group was lower than those of control group (p=0,002) however there was no correlation between fetal weight and plasma as well as placenta levels of IFN-γ (p>0,05). Haemozoin deposit was found only in treatment group and influenced weight of fetuses (Spearman=-0,633, p=0,006). Weights of fetuses are more interfered by haemozoin deposit and seemly not by plasma and placenta levels of IFN-γ during malaria infection.Keywords: Fetal weight, gamma interferon, haemozoin, malaria, placenta


Download data is not yet available.


United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. An Introduction to Malaria. Kanada: United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund: 2007.

Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia. Buletin Malaria: Epidemiologi Malaria di Indonesia. Jakarta: Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia; 2011: hal. 7-21.

Dale P, Sipe N, Anto S, et al. Malaria in Indonesia: A Summary of Recent into its Environmental Relationships. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 2005: 36(1): 1-13.

Shulman CE, Marshall T, Dorman EK, et al. Malaria in Pregnancy: Adverse Effects on Haemoglobin Levels and Birthweight in Primigravidae and Multigravidae. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2001; 6(10): 770-778.

Menendez C, Ordi J, Ismail MR, Ventura PJ, et al. The Impact of Placental Malaria on Gestational Age and Birth Weight. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000; 181: 1740–1745.

Neres R, Marinho CRF, Goncalves LA, Catarino MB, and Penha-Goncalves C. Pregnancy Outcome and Placenta Pathology in Plasmodium berghei ANKA Infected Mice Reproduce the Pathogenesis of Severe Malaria in Pregnant Women. PLoS ONE. 2008; 3(2): e1608.

Duffy PE and Fried M. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesion in the Placenta. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 2003; 6(4): 371–376.

Walter PR, Garin Y, and Blot P. Placental Pathologic Changes in Malaria: A Histologic and Ultra-structural Study. The American Journal of Pathology. 1982; 109(3): 330-342.

Rogerson SJ, Brown HC, Pollina E, et al. Placental Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha but Not Gamma Interferon Is Associated with Placental Malaria and Low Birth Weight in Malawian Women. Infection and Immunity. 2003; 71(1): 267-270.

Rogerson SJ, Mwapasa V, and Meshnick SR. Malaria in Pregnancy: Linking Immunity and Pathogenesis to Prevention. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2007; 77(Suppl 6): 14–22.

Moore JM, Nahlen BL, Misore A, Lal AA, and Udhayakumar V. Immunity to placental Malaria. I. Elevated Production of Interferon-g by Placental Blood Mononuclear Cells Is Associated with Protection in an Area with High Transmission of Malaria. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1999; 179(5): 1218–1225.

Othoro C, Moore JM, Wannemuehler KA, et al. Elevated Gamma Interferon-Producing NK Cells, CD45RO Memory-Like T Cells, and CD4 T Cells Are Associated with Protection against Malaria Infection in Pregnancy. Infection and Immunity. 2008; 76(4): 1678–1685.

Barasa M, Ng'ang'a ZW, Sowayi GA, et al. Cytokine Expression in Malaria-Infected Non-Human Primate Placentas. Open Veterinary Journal. 2012; 2: 58-64.

Schofield L and Grau GE. Immunological Processes in Malaria Pathogenesis. Nature Reviews Immunology. 2005; 5(9): 722-735.

Poovassery J and Moore M. Association of Malaria-Induced Murine Pregnancy Failure with Robust Peripheral and Placental Cytokine Responses. Infection and Immunity. 2008; 77(11): 4998-5006.

Fried M, Muga RO, Misore AO, and Duffy PE. Malaria Elicits Type 1 Cytokines in the Human Placenta: IFN-g and TNF-a Associated with Pregnancy Outcomes. The Journal of Immunology. 1998; 160(5): 2523-2530.

Sarr D, Aldebert D, Marrama L, et al. Chronic Infection during Placental Malaria is Associated with Up-Regulation of Cycloxygenase-2. Malaria Journal. 2010; 9: 45.






Research Article