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Impact and operational feasibility of adding malaria infection screening using an ultrasensitive RDT for placental and fetal outcomes in an area of high IPTP-SP coverage in Burkina Faso: the ASSER MALARIA pilot study protocol

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BACKGROUND: Malaria infection during pregnancy (MIP) is not only deleterious to the woman, but it also puts her fetus at increased risk of adverse outcomes, such as preterm delivery, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth retardation. Additionally, all-cause mortality during the first year of life in babies born to women with malaria during pregnancy is also increased. Many interventions such as IPTp-SP and long-lasting insecticidal nets have proven to be efficient at reducing malaria in pregnancy burden but adherence to recommended policies remains poor. In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria in pregnancy is often asymptomatic and many malaria infections may be missed due to the inadequate performance of the current rapid diagnostic test to detect low-level parasitemias. Therefore, additional strategies such as intermittent screening with ultrasensitive rapid diagnostic tests and treatment with an effective artemisinin-based combination therapy in addition to IPTp-SP could reduce placental malaria, peripheral malaria infection at delivery, and low birth weight. METHODS: This pilot 2-group randomized open trial with a nested qualitative social behavioral will be carried out in Nanoro district in which 340 pregnant women will be recruited. Pregnant women will be randomized into two groups and followed on a monthly basis until delivery. In the intervention group, monthly screening using ultrasensitive rapid diagnostic tests and treatment of those found to be infected with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine will be performed. In addition, a reminder will be sent to increase the uptake of IPTp-SP doses per woman. During scheduled and unscheduled visits, malaria infection, hemoglobin level, and other clinical outcomes will be assessed and compared by the group. The primary feasibility outcome will evaluate the study site's capacity to enroll participants and the women's perception and acceptability of the intervention. The primary clinical outcome will be the prevalence of placental malaria at delivery. DISCUSSION: The present protocol aims to evaluate the feasibility on a large-scale and also to demonstrate the impact and the operational feasibility of additional screening with ultrasensitive rapid diagnostic tests and treatment with DHA-PQ on placental malaria, low birth weight, and peripheral malaria infection at delivery in a high-burden setting in Burkina Faso. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov , ID: NCT04147546 (14 October 2019).
Tijdschrift: Pilot and Feasibility Studies
ISSN: 2055-5784
Issue: 1
Volume: 8
Jaar van publicatie:2022