Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Fifteen-minute consultation: What do I do with a baby born to a mother with tuberculosis?
  1. Lynne Speirs1,
  2. Elizabeth Whittaker2
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, Section of Paediatric Infectious Disease, Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lynne Speirs, Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK; lspeirs01{at}


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a considerable disease burden, even in high-income countries such as the UK. In recent years, there has been a change in epidemiology with an increased incidence in those under 30 years old. This increases the proportion of women of childbearing age contracting tuberculosis. There is limited evidence around optimal management of the neonate who has been exposed to tuberculosis; however, we know that neonatal TB is fatal if untreated. It is therefore important to have a framework of how to manage the infants born to these mothers. Good communication between respiratory or infectious diseases physicians treating the expectant mother, maternity and paediatric teams is essential. Prompt assessment of the infant with input from paediatricians with an expertise in paediatric tuberculosis is essential.

  • neonatology
  • microbiology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors Idea by EW. Original manuscript written by LS and edited by EW.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.