Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium and WWARN join forces

News article 4 Mar 2016

The Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) Consortium, based at LSTM, has joined forces with the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) to establish a malaria in pregnancy research programme within the WWARN data platform. This new scientific group will develop a better understanding of the impact of resistance on the effectiveness of current prevention strategies, and help ensure that all pregnant women with malaria receive safe and effective malaria treatment.

Each year up to 125 million pregnancies occur in malaria endemic countries. Malaria infection during pregnancy can result in pregnancy loss, maternal death, severe maternal anaemia and low infant birth weight which increases the risk of death in the neonate. It is associated with as many as 100,000 children dying needlessly every year.

The partnership will strengthen the infrastructure and databases that have been developed by the MiP Consortium over the past eight years and expand the expertise relevant to resistance, efficacy, effectiveness and tolerability of antimalarials in pregnancy. It will ensure that rigorous scientific investigation of the safety and efficacy of antimalarials used during pregnancy continues to support evidence-based policies and programmes.

LSTM’s Prof Feiko ter Kuile, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium, said: “Malaria in pregnancy can have devastating consequences for the mother and the unborn child. This concerted effort is an exciting step for the Consortium – pooling all the data on malaria infection during pregnancy will provide stronger statistical power to identify some of the nuances of treatment regimens that can be missed by a single clinical trial.”

The MiP Consortium will work in unison with WWARN to develop future pooled individual participant analyses on topics of critical importance to guide global policy on malaria in pregnancy.

Both teams will work together to adapt the WWARN database to collate new, pregnancy-specific variables and to undertake subsequent data extraction and meta-analyses of individual patient data. They will investigate the safety and efficacy of a range of antimalarials used during pregnancy in Africa and Asia, and maintain the Malaria in Pregnancy Library, a comprehensive bibliographic database of published and unpublished literature.

Prof Philippe Guérin, Director of WWARN, said:“We are thrilled to be working so closely with the MiP Consortium – our combined skillset of pooled analysis and expertise in malaria in pregnancy will mean that we are in a good position to provide evidence to support policy changes to ensure pregnant women receive the best treatment for malaria.”