Pediatric tuberculosis: global overview and challenges

Clin Infect Dis. 2010 May 15;50 Suppl 3:S184-94. doi: 10.1086/651490.


Tuberculosis (TB) is among the top 10 causes of death among children worldwide; however, children with TB are given low priority in most national health programs and are neglected in this epidemic. Recent technological advancements in diagnosis of TB in adults have not been validated in children. Similarly, trials of new drugs and development of pediatric formulations of standard first- and second-line drugs are lagging behind. Among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected children, the optimal timing for highly active antiretroviral therapy initiation and drug combinations that have minimal interactions with anti-TB drugs need further study. Although bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine, the only vaccine available for TB, protects against disseminated and severe forms of the disease in young children, its safety in the HIV-infected population has been questioned. Multicentric trials are urgently required to help develop improved diagnostic strategies and formulate shorter, more effective, safe, and evidence-based regimens for treatment and prevention of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • BCG Vaccine / adverse effects
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Interactions
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antitubercular Agents
  • BCG Vaccine