Case Report: Birth Outcome and Neurodevelopment in Placental Malaria Discordant Twins

Document Type

Case Report


Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Maternal infection during pregnancy can have lasting effects on neurodevelopment, but the impact of malaria in pregnancy on child neurodevelopment is unknown. We present a case of a 24-year-old gravida three woman enrolled at 14 weeks 6 days of gestation in a clinical trial evaluating malaria prevention strategies in pregnancy. She had two blood samples test positive for Plasmodium falciparum using loop-mediated isothermal amplification before 20 weeks of gestation. At 31 weeks 4 days of gestation, the woman presented with preterm premature rupture of membranes, and the twins were delivered by cesarean section. Twin A was 1,920 g and Twin B was 1,320 g. Both placentas tested negative for malaria by microscopy, but the placenta of Twin B had evidence of past malaria by histology. The twins' development was assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third Edition. At 1 year chronologic age, Twin B had lower scores across all domains (composite scores: cognitive, Twin A [100], Twin B [70]; motor, Twin A [88], Twin B [73]; language, Twin A [109], Twin B [86]). This effect persisted at 2 years chronologic age (composite scores: cognitive, Twin A [80], Twin B [60]; motor, Twin A [76], Twin B [67]; language, Twin A [77], Twin B [59]). Infant health was similar over the first 2 years of life. We report differences in neurodevelopmental outcomes in placental malaria-discordant dizygotic twins. Additional research is needed to evaluate the impact of placental malaria on neurodevelopmental complications. Trial registration number: number, NCT02163447. Registered: June 2014,


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Am J Trop Med Hyg