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Tuberculosis in a 2.5-month-old infant: congenital or acquired dilemma?

Research paper by Yellanthoor Ramesh YR Bhat, Sandesh S Kini, Lakshmikanth L Halegubbi Karegowda

Indexed on: 21 Nov '20Published on: 20 Nov '20Published in: Paediatrics and international child health



Abstract

Infants may develop congenital tuberculosis from an infectious mother or acquire the disease postnatally by contact with an infectious adult. Delayed diagnosis is common, especially in infants under 1 year of age, and, if unrecognised, there is an increased risk of death. A 2.5-month-old boy presented with respiratory distress, small inhomogeneous opacities in both lungs and hepatosplenomegaly mimicking sepsis. He had received BCG vaccination and there was no history of contact with tuberculosis (TB). He had had fever since 1 month of age for which there had been several outpatient visits. Gastric aspirate cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT) confirmed TB and sonological evaluation demonstrated multiple granulomata in the liver and spleen, and a liver biopsy supported TB. He responded well to 12 months of anti-tuberculous treatment. The mother's tuberculin test, chest radiograph and endometrial biopsy showed no evidence of TB. There was no history of tuberculous contact with close family members. Despite the lack of proof of current tuberculous TB infection in the mother, it is likely that the infant had congenital TB.