oa Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases - A double load to carry : parasites and pregnancy : review

Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2312-0053



Pregnancy drains the body physically, physiologically and immunologically. This burden is aggravated when combined with parasite infection. Intestinal parasitic infections in pregnancy have been associated with serious adverse outcomes, both for the mother and the unborn baby. In this article, we describe the prevalence and effects of these infections on pregnancy in women in Africa. There is a dearth of research on parasitic infections in pregnancy in South Africa. Most studies have focused on parasites in schoolchildren. This information gap needs urgent attention in a country with the added burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during pregnancy, as well as unacceptable levels of maternal mortality; and especially so in the light of growing evidence of a link between HIV and parasitic infections.

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