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

Acta Paediatr. 2006 May;95(5):535-9. doi: 10.1080/08035250600636560.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contact Tracing*
  • Cross Infection / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission*