Tuberculosis in pregnant and postpartum women: epidemiology, management, and research gaps

Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;55(11):1532-49. doi: 10.1093/cid/cis732. Epub 2012 Aug 31.


Tuberculosis is most common during a woman's reproductive years and is a major cause of maternal-child mortality. National guidelines for screening and management vary widely owing to insufficient data. In this article, we review the available data on (1) the global burden of tuberculosis in women of reproductive age; (2) how pregnancy and the postpartum period affect the course of tuberculosis; (3) how to screen and diagnose pregnant and postpartum women for active and latent tuberculosis; (4) the management of active and latent tuberculosis in pregnancy and the postpartum period, including the safety of tuberculosis medications; and (5) infant outcomes. We also include data on HIV/tuberculosis coinfection and drug-resistant tuberculosis. Finally, we highlight research gaps in tuberculosis in pregnant and postpartum women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Global Health
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / pathology*
  • Tuberculosis / complications*