RATIONALE: Congenital tuberculosis (TB) is described as a rare, but severe disease. In contrast to the cases with severe symptoms reported so far, we describe a child with asymptomatic congenital TB.
PATIENT CONCERNS: An 8-week-old girl was investigated because of newly diagnosed TB in her mother, which complained about cough since 21 weeks gestation. Lung biopsy tissue specimens of the mother revealed necrotizing granuloma with a single acid-fast bacillus (AFB) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) was detected by polymerase chain reaction. Bronchoalveolar lavage was negative for AFB smear and culture, arguing against postnatal transmission of MTB. TB contact investigations were negative. The child, at the age of 8 weeks at first assessment, was in an excellent general condition and diagnosed with congenital TB by culture-positive lung TB and exclusion of postnatal transmission.
DIAGNOSES: The child fulfilled Cantwell criteria to diagnose congenital TB.
INTERVENTIONS: Ambulatory anti-tuberculosis treatment was initiated for 6 months.
OUTCOMES: The 18 months follow-up was uneventful.
LESSONS: This case of asymptomatic congenital TB in a young child illustrates the diagnostic difficulties in congenital TB and raises the question whether congenital TB is underestimated.