A mother, newly found to be positive for HIV, delivered her first baby at 25 weeks gestation. The infant initially did well in spite of a symptomatic patent duct and a severe intraventricular haemorrhage, but became severely unwell needing further respiratory support on day 18. Acid fast bacilli were found in endotracheal secretions. After the baby’s death, the bacilli were confirmed to be Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the same organism was grown from the mother’s urine. The case raised challenging issues in relatively uncharted territory in terms of treatment of the infant, public health issues, ethical decision making, and media management.
- infection control
- placental histology
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Competing interests: none declared