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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


CIFUENTES, Yolanda; MURCIA, Martha I.; PIAR, Jorge  and  PARDO, Patricia. Cerebral microcalcifications in a newborn with congenital tuberculosis. Biomédica [online]. 2016, vol.36, n.1, pp.22-28. ISSN 0120-4157.

Tuberculosis is a serious public health problem worldwide. In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated 8.6 million new cases and 1.3 million deaths due to the disease. In 2011, the incidence in Colombia was 24 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. There is little information about tuberculosis in pregnant women, and congenital infection is considered a rare disease that is difficult to diagnose, leads to high mortality, and may be confused with tuberculosis acquired after birth. In addition, it has been associated with HIV infection in mothers and infants. Moreover, there is increasing incidence of congenital syphilis in the world. In Colombia, the prevalence is 2.5 cases per 1,000 births and its frequency in the Instituto Materno Infantil-Hospital La Victoria is one case per 57 births. We report the case of a newborn under treatment for congenital syphilis and in whom microcalcifications were found in a transfontanelar ultrasound. This finding warned about the existence of another infectious agent. PCR was negative for cytomegalovirus, and IgM titers for toxoplasma, rubella and herpes I and II were also negative. After learning about a history of incomplete treatment for tuberculosis in the mother, we suspected the presence of an infection by the tubercle bacillus in the newborn. No acid-fast bacilli were demonstrated in three gastric juice samples. The IS 6110 PCR assay was found positive in cerebrospinal fluid and urine, but not in blood. The newborn was treated with crystalline penicillin for 10 days along with isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and streptomycin. The patient is currently under clinical monitoring.

Keywords : Infant, newborn; tuberculosis,syphilis; congenital; ultrasonography; polymerase chain reaction; coinfection.

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