Perinatal Transmission of Yellow Fever, Brazil, 2009
Authors: Maria Regina Bentlin,Ricardo Augusto Monteiro de Barros Almeida,Kunie Iabuki Rabello Coelho,Ana Freitas Ribeiro,Melissa Mascheratti Siciliano,Akemi Suzuki,Carlos Magno Castelo Branco Fortaleza,Maria Regina Bentlin Ricardo Augusto Monteiro de Barros Almeida Kunie Iabuki Rabello Coelho Ana Freitas Ribeiro Melissa Mascheratti Siciliano Akemi Suzuki Carlos Magno Castelo Branco Fortaleza
Address: Authors affiliations: Universidade Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, Brazil (M.R. Bentlin, R.A.M. de Barros Almeida, K.I.R. Coelho, C.M.C.B. Fortaleza);
Journal: Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 September; 17 (9) : 1779–1780.
To the Editor: Although urban cases of Yellow Fever have not been reported in Brazil since 1942, sylvatic yellow fever is still endemic to the northern and middle-western states. In the past decade, the endemic area has spread southward and eastward, approaching most populated states (1). In 2009, there was an outbreak of sylvatic yellow fever in São Paulo State that caused 28 cases and 11 deaths. In the affected area, there had been no reports of yellow fever since the 1930s (2). In the outbreak setting, a case of Perinatal yellow fever Transmission was diagnosed.
The mother was a 30-year-old woman exposed to yellow fever in late pregnancy in a sylvatic area near Piraju (23°11′44′′S, 49°22′54′′W), a city 100 km from Botucatu. The patient had not received yellow fever vaccine and had not traveled to yellow fever–endemic regions in the previous months. The exposure to yellow fever occurred during regular walks in a sylvatic area, a habit that continued until late pregnancy. She had fever, headache, and jaundice on March 14, 2009. Three days later, on March 17, she delivered a female infant through vaginal partum in a hospital in her hometown.
The mother´s symptoms were mild. She was admitted to Botucatu Medical School Hospital 7 days after delivery; she had fever, jaundice, and conjunctival suffusion. Liver enzymes were elevated (aspartate aminotransferase [AST] 246 U/L, alanine transaminase [ALT] 324 U/L, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase 221 U/L, and alkaline phosphatase 338 U/L). She was mildly anemic (hemoglobin level 10.2 g/dL), but leukocyte and platelet counts were within reference ranges. There were no other laboratory abnormalities. She was discharged after 7 days with complete recovery.
The infant girl was born asymptomatic on March 17, with a birthweight of 3,800 g and Apgar scores of 9–10. She was discharged from the hospital after 2 days of exclusive breast-feeding. On the third day of life, she had fever and cyanosis and was readmitted to the local hospital with suspected pneumonia. She received antimicrobial drugs but showed no improvement. On the 8th day of life, she had hematemesis, melena, bleeding at venipuncture sites, hypoglycemia, and oliguria.
The newborn was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Botucatu Medical School Hospital. At admission, she had hypotension, tachycardia, cutaneous paleness, jaundice, hepatomegaly, and melena. The initial diagnostic hypothesis was congenital or hospital-acquired sepsis, but the mother´s diagnosis prompted doctors to investigate possible yellow fever. The infant was intubated for ventilatory support and received volume expansion, vasoactive amines, antimicrobial drugs, blood components (erythrocytes, platelets, fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate), and drugs to control bleeding. Liver enzymes values were initially high (AST 4,072 U/L, ALT 1,420 U/L) but fell abruptly within 3 days (AST 150 U/L, ALT 114 U/L).
Despite the therapy, the newborn experienced liver and renal failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, seizures, and finally coma. She died on the 12th day of life (4th day of hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit). Autopsy specimens showed massive liver necrosis, pulmonary hemorrhage, and acute tubular necrosis (Figure).
We thank Ligia Maria Suppo de Souza Rugolo and Thamy Yamashita for special collaboration during preparation of the manuscript.
Suggested citation for this article: Bentlin MR, Almeida RAMB, Coelho KIR, Ribeiro AF, Siciliano MM, Suzuki A, et al. Perinatal transmission of yellow fever, Brazil, 2009 [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Sep [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1709.110242
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