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May 7, 1927


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1927;88(19):1457-1460. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680450001001

The number of authentic cases reported in the literature of tuberculosis in the new-born infant is so small as to make one feel that infection of the fetus is so rare as to be of little significance in the tuberculosis campaign. There is no confirmed evidence of a tuberculous father, either among animals or in man, having transmitted tuberculosis to the fetus. We do know that a tuberculous mother who develops tuberculosis of the placenta may transmit the disease to the fetus. Calmette is of the opinion that acute febrile diseases from which the expectant mother suffers may be capable of breaking down the barrier effect of an otherwise normal placenta. If this proves to be true in the human family, it is possible that a greater number of children are infected before birth than we had ever suspected. In any event this subject should be further investigated.

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