Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Rev Respir Med. 2012 Aug;6(4):385-95. doi: 10.1586/ers.12.36.

Promising directions in the diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis.

Author information

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.


Estimates of the burden of childhood tuberculosis have been hampered by the lack of a reliable diagnostic test. Clinical scoring systems, radiological findings and tuberculin skin testing (the traditional methods used for diagnosis) are unreliable, particularly in the era of HIV. Microbiologic confirmation using induced sputum is feasible and has become increasingly important to define the burden of disease and to enable appropriate treatment. The availability of a rapid molecular diagnostic test (Xpert® MTB/RIF; Cepheid) is an important advance that can improve case detection in children and enable rapid detection of mycobacterial drug resistance. Xpert testing of two induced sputum specimens detected approximately 75% of children with culture-confirmed disease. Urine lipoarabinomannan has shown promise as a rapid diagnostic in a subgroup of HIV-infected severely immunocompromised adults, but there have been no data in children so far. Further research is needed to develop a rapid point-of-care, reliable and affordable diagnostic test for childhood tuberculosis that can be widely used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center