Immune Parameters in the Cord Blood of Newborns Exposed to Malaria in the Womb

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00772642
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 15, 2008
Last Update Posted : July 2, 2017
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

This study, conducted by the Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Bamako, Mali, and the NIAID, will examine how exposure to the malaria parasite in the womb affects the developing immune system of newborns. Little is known about how such exposure in the womb may affect the immune system or alter the risk of malaria or responsiveness to vaccination after birth. A better understanding of this process may provide information useful for childhood vaccination strategies in areas where malaria is widespread.

Women 18 years of age and older who live in Bancoumana and are in their last trimester of pregnancy and in good health may be eligible for this study.

Participants have blood samples drawn from a finger stick and through a needle placed in a vein two times for this study: when they enroll in the study and again when they go to the Bancoumana Health Center to deliver their baby. After the baby and placenta are delivered, blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:
In malaria endemic areas the fetus is at risk for in utero exposure to Plasmodium falciparum or its soluble products. Little is known about how this exposure modulates the developing fetal immune system, or how this may alter the risk of malaria or responsiveness to vaccination after birth. A clearer understanding of this process may inform childhood vaccination strategies in malaria endemic areas. The objective of this cross-sectional exploratory study is to define the immune profile associated with in utero exposure to P. falciparum by analyzing cord blood samples collected at a site of high malaria transmission in Mali, and to compare this profile to that of U.S. cord blood samples. Pregnant women will be invited to participate in this study during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. A finger stick blood draw will be collected from the mother at enrollment and peri-partum to determine if she is infected with P. falciparum. Cord blood and placental blood samples will be collected post-partum and processed to obtain mononuclear cells and serum. Cord blood can be obtained from the placenta after delivery without risk to mother or infant and will be used for research purposes only. Mononuclear cells will be analyzed by flow cytometry to characterize subsets of B, T and innate immune cells. Functional assays such as the B and T cell ELISPOT assay and measurements of cytokines in response to in vitro stimulation will also be performed.

Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 120 participants
Time Perspective: Other
Official Title: Profiling Immunological Parameters in the Cord Blood of Neonates Exposed to Plasmodium Falciparum in Utero
Study Start Date : October 8, 2008
Study Completion Date : September 10, 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Malaria
U.S. FDA Resources

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 99 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
  • Age greater than or equal to 18 years
  • Healthy female in 3rd trimester of pregnancy
  • Resident of Bancoumana
  • Willingness to allow cord and placental blood samples to be stored and used for future studies of the immune response to malaria
  • Ability to give informed consent and willingness to comply with study requirements and procedures


  • Currently taking corticosteroids or other immunosuppressants
  • Underlying heart disease, bleeding disorder, or other condition that in the judgment of the Principal Investigator (PI) could increase the risk to the volunteer
  • Fever greater than or equal to 37.5 degree C or evidence of an acute infection
  • Anemia (hemoglobin less than 9 g/dL)
  • Participation in another clinical protocol that requires the administration of an experimental vaccine or experimental treatment.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00772642

Malaria Research and Training Center
Bamako, Mali
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)