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Half of all pregnancies at risk of malaria worldwide occur in the Asia-Pacific region, where Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax co-exist. Despite substantial reductions in transmission, malaria remains an important cause of adverse health outcomes for mothers and offspring, including pre-eclampsia. Malaria transmission is heterogeneous, and infections are commonly subpatent and asymptomatic. High-grade antimalarial resistance poses a formidable challenge to malaria control in pregnancy in the region. Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy reduces infection risk in meso-endemic New Guinea, whereas screen-and-treat strategies will require more sensitive point-of-care tests to control malaria in pregnancy. In the first trimester, artemether-lumefantrine is approved, and safety data are accumulating for other artemisinin-based combinations. Safety of novel antimalarials to treat artemisinin-resistant P falciparum during pregnancy, and of 8-aminoquinolines during lactation, needs to be established. A more systematic approach to the prevention of malaria in pregnancy in the Asia-Pacific is required.

Original publication




Journal article


The Lancet. Global health

Publication Date





e1805 - e1818


Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi, NT, Australia; Department of Clinical Sciences, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK. Electronic address: