How to manage neonatal tuberculosis

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This article reports the recommendations for managing neonatal tuberculosis (TB) drawn up by a group of Italian scientific societies. The Consensus Conference method was used, and relevant publications in English were identified through a systematic review of MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from their inception until 31 December 2014. Group experts concluded that if suspicion is aroused, it is necessary to undertake promptly all of the investigations useful for identifying the disease not only in the newborn, but also in the mother and family contacts because a diagnosis of TB in the family nucleus can guide its diagnosis and treatment in the newborn. If the suspicion is confirmed, empirical treatment should be started. Breast-fed newborns being treated with isoniazid should be given pyridoxine supplementation at a dose of 1 mg kg-1 day-1. Mothers with active-phase TB can breast-feed once they have become smear negative after having received appropriate treatment.

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