BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may lead to severe consequences affecting both mother and child. Prenatal care could be a very good opportunity for TB care, especially for women who have limited access to health services. The aim of this review was to gather and evaluate studies on TB care for pregnant women.
METHODS: We used a combination of the terms "tuberculosis" and "pregnancy", limited to human, to search for published articles. Studies reflecting original data and focusing on TB care for pregnant women were included. All references retrieved were collected using the Reference Manager software (Version 11).
RESULTS: Thirty five studies were selected for review and their data showed that diagnosis was often delayed because TB symptoms during pregnancy were not typical. TB prophylaxis and anti-TB therapy appeared to be safe and effective for pregnant women and their babies when suitable follow up and early initiation were present, but the compliance rate to TB prophylaxis is still low due to lack of follow up and referral services. TB care practices in the reviewed studies were in line in principle with the WHO International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC).
CONCLUSIONS: Integration of TB care within prenatal care would improve TB diagnosis and treatment for pregnant women. To improve the quality of TB care, it is necessary to develop national level guidelines based on the ISTC with detailed guidelines for pregnant women.
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