Assessment of the impact of pregnancy and malaria infection on the variation of neutrophil levels in women from San, Mali

Moussa Djimde, Charles Arama, Bouréma Koné, Hamadoun Diakité, Mohamed Keita, Mamadou D. Samaké, Bréhima Tembely, Balla Bagayoko, Mohamed B. Traoré, Japhet K. Tshiongo, Hypolite M. Mavoko, Alassane Dicko, Michel Vaillant, Petra F. Mens, Henk Dfh Schallig, Kassoum Kayentao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: In patients with severe neutropenia, infections can rapidly become serious and life-threatening. It is essential to understand whether pregnancy induces changes in neutrophil levels thereby posing an increased threat to the health of gravidae. METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional study was conducted in San Health District (Mali) and involved pregnant women infected or not by malaria parasites and non-pregnant healthy volunteers. Subjects were categorized as having neutropenia, normal neutrophil levels, and neutrophilia regarding their neutrophil levels. A logistic regression analysis was performed to determine factors associated with neutrophil level variation in pregnant women. RESULTS: Whether or not the pregnant women were infected with malaria, 98 of the 202 cases (48.5%) showed neutrophilia. Surprisingly, 67 of the 71 cases of neutropenia (94.4%) observed in this study concerned healthy people who were not pregnant. The mean percentage of neutrophil levels was significantly (p < 0.001) lower (49.9%) in the first trimester compared to the second trimester of pregnancy (62.0%). A logistic regression model showed that compared to early pregnancy, the second (OR = 12.9, 95% CI 2.2-248.1, p = 0.018) and the third trimesters (OR = 13.7, 95% CI 2.3-257.5, p = 0.016) were strongly associated with the increase of neutrophil levels. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy can induce the production of mature neutrophils that are continually released into circulation. Neutrophil levels were lower during the first trimester of the pregnancy compared to the second and third trimesters, but not affected by the presence or absence of malaria infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infection in Developing Countries
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024


  • malaria
  • Mali
  • Neutrophil
  • pregnancy


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