According to researchers from the Department of Pediatrics from the University of Washington School of Medicine, intermittent malaria treatments during pregnancy prove harmful to infants and offspring. The study was published in the journal PLoS One.

Women in malaria-ridden countries where malaria strains are resistant to sulfasoxine-pyrimethamine receive no benefit from intermittent treatment to prevent the movement of malaria across the placenta. Researchers also noted that intermittent treatment could lead to drug resistance and future increased risk of infection.

Results of intermittent treatment prove harmful to offspring throughout life. Infants were more likely to contract severe malaria increasing the overall risk of contraction even if the disease was not contracted in early infancy. When calculating the cost-effectiveness of intermittent treatment, nations should take long-term effects of said treatment into consideration.

Source: Harrington WE, Morrison R, Fried M, Duffy PE. Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women is associated with increased risk of severe malaria in their offspring. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056183. Epub 2013 Feb 25.