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INTRODUCTION Each year, about 24 million African women become pregnant in areas where malaria has devastating impact (1). These women are at an increased risk of contacting malaria infection, which increases the risk of poor pregnancy outcome (2). This susceptibility to malaria and the severity of its clinical manifestations in pregnancy can be partly explained by the observed immunosuppression mediated by pregnancy-associated hormones and proteins and the cyto-adherent properties of the sub-population of malaria parasites infecting the human placenta (3,4). Down-regulation of cellular immune responses to maintain antigenically different conceptus could increase susceptibility to infections controlled by cellular immunity, such as viruses and parasites (5).