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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2013 Oct;15(5):356-63. doi: 10.1007/s11908-013-0363-z.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis: pediatric guidelines.

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  • 1National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Formerly The Tuberculosis Research Centre, No.1, Sathiyamoorthy Road, Chetpet, Chennai, 600 031, India, drpooranadevi@yahoo.co.in.


The World Health Organization estimates that there are 650,000 prevalent cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) globally, and since children (<15 years of age) constitute up to 20 % of the TB caseload in high-burden settings, the number of children with drug-resistant (DR) TB is likely to be substantial. Because bacterial burden at the site of disease is often low, diagnosis involves collection of multiple specimens and a laboratory capable of performing culture, although the Xpert MTB/RIF assay has improved sensitivity over smear examination. The basic principles of treatment for children are the same as those for adults with MDR-TB; however, the treatment regimen is often empiric and based on the drug susceptibility pattern of the source case, if available, or on past history of treatment. Additional challenges arise when MDR-TB is diagnosed and managed in the context of HIV coinfection. HIV-infected children are also treated with antiretroviral therapy medications, which have the potential to interact with second-line anti-TB drugs. Lack of pediatric formulations of second-line drugs and paucity of pharmacokinetic data make dosage challenging. However, when treated appropriately, children with DR TB have good outcomes.

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