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Can J Public Health. 2007 Jul-Aug;98(4):276-80.

Pediatric tuberculosis in Alberta: epidemiology and case characteristics (1990-2004).

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Department of Medicine and Radiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.



Pediatric tuberculosis (TB) is important medically and indicative of a public health problem. An understanding of the epidemiology and case characteristics of pediatric TB, in a province that accepts large numbers of immigrants, can inform TB elimination strategy.


All cases of pediatric TB notified in Alberta between 1990 and 2004 were identified in the TB Registry. Individual diagnostic criteria were reviewed and case patients were related to a population grid derived from Statistics Canada censuses and population estimates of Status Indians from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Canada. Incidence rates were determined by ethnic group and gender. Clinical/mycobacteriologic case characteristics were compared by ethnic group and birth country.


Among 124 notified cases, 95 (96 episodes) met strict diagnostic criteria: 45 Status Indians, 30 Canadian-born 'other' and 21 foreign-born. Incidence rates were much higher in Status Indians and the foreign-born compared to the Canadian-born 'other'; 10.7, 5.4, and 0.4 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Among Canadian-born 'other' cases, 12 were M├ętis and 11 were Canadian-born children of foreign-born parents. Compared to foreign-born cases, Canadian-born cases were more likely to have a source case in Alberta, to be detected through contact tracing, to have primary pulmonary TB, and to have a rural address.


Pediatric TB in Alberta is mainly the result of ongoing transmission in Aboriginal peoples and immigration to Canada of persons with latent TB infection. The elimination of pediatric TB will require interruption of transmission in Aboriginal peoples and prevention of disease in immigrants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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