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Title: Malaria in Pregnant Women and Children in Ghana
Authors: Abdalla, Aseel A.
Advisors: Mahmoud, Adel A.
Department: Molecular Biology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Despite persistent eradication and control strategies, malaria remains one of the deadliest parasitic diseases. While malaria affects nearly 500 million people annually, pregnant women and young children appear to be uniquely susceptible to the disease. Pregnant women living in high transmission settings tend to suffer severe maternal anemia leading to low infant birth weight due to preterm delivery or intrauterine growth restriction. Many cases of pregnancy-associated malaria end in either the death of the mother or her fetus. Malarial infections in non-immune children often result in severe anemia, respiratory distress or even cerebral malaria. In malaria-endemic regions, immune protection is accompanied by increased levels of antibodies capable of binding parasitized red blood cells. These antibodies recognize variant surface antigens presented on the surface of the red blood cells by mature forms of the parasite. This investigation assesses the antibody response to malarial infection among residents of Asutsuare, a Ghanaian village where P. falciparum transmission is particularly high. To do so, this study measured the antibody levels in serum samples collected from pregnant women, children, and adults in this community using indirect immunofluorescence. The results of this investigation improve our understanding of acquired immunity to P. falciparum in high transmission settings and highlight the complex host-parasite interactions that take place during the course of malarial infection.
Extent: 74 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2023

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