Nosocomial transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in kangaroo mother care units: A risk in tuberculosis-endemic areas

Heyns L. ; Gie R.P. ; Goussard P. ; Beyers N. ; Warren R.M. ; Marais B.J. (2006)


Background and aim: Kangaroo mother care (KMC) has become the standard of care for low-risk preterm babies born in developing countries. However, the potential risk of nosocomial transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within KMC units, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic areas, has not been explored. We report an infant (sentinel case) who was admitted to our paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with extensive pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods and results: When interviewed, the mother reported no household contact with a tuberculosis source case, but mentioned that she shared a KMC room with someone who had symptoms suspicious of tuberculosis. We found molecular evidence that nosocomial transmission of M. tuberculosis occurred within the KMC unit and conducted a contact investigation of all infants exposed to this infectious source case during her stay in the KMC unit. Conclusion: We present the findings of the contact investigation and discuss the implications of these findings for KMC units, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic areas. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

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