Childhood tuberculosis: epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and vaccination

Pediatr Neonatol. 2013 Oct;54(5):295-302. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2013.01.019. Epub 2013 Mar 16.


Despite the existence of a government-run tuberculosis (TB) control program, the current nationwide burden of TB continues to be a public health problem in Taiwan. Intense current and previous efforts into diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive interventions have focused on TB in adults, but childhood TB has been relatively neglected. Children are particularly vulnerable to severe disease and death following infection, and children with latent infections become reservoirs for future transmission following disease reactivation in adulthood, thus fueling future epidemics. Additional research, understanding, and prevention of childhood TB are urgently needed. This review assesses the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and relevant principles of TB vaccine development and presents efficacy data for the currently licensed vaccines.

Keywords: Taiwan; childhood; incidence; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccination


  • Tuberculosis Vaccines