The possibility that children might acquire tuberculosis from parents with genitourinary tuberculosis was studied in 50 children under 13 years of age. All were progeny of 28 parents who were known to be discharging Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the urine although they were free from signs of open pulmonary tuberculosis. Eleven (22%) of the children gave positive tuberculin reactions, as compared with the accepted figure of 10% or less for the incidence of positive reactors in the general population of the same age. Since the tuberculin-positive children did not show evidence of tuberculous foci in the lungs or elsewhere, it was conjectured that the infection might be gastro-intestinal. Consideration of prevailing habits in the disposition of laundry, the use of water closets, and the handling of food leads to important suggestions for hygiene in family living.
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 5, 1959