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Pediatrics. 2012 Dec;130(6):e1425-32. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1057. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Pediatric and adolescent tuberculosis in the United States, 2008-2010.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E-91, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



We examined heterogeneity among children and adolescents diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in the United States, and we investigated potential international TB exposure risk.


We analyzed demographic and clinical characteristics by origin of birth for persons <18 years with verified case of incident TB disease reported to National TB Surveillance System from 2008 to 2010. We describe newly available data on parent or guardian countries of origin and history of having lived internationally for pediatric patients with TB (<15 years of age).


Of 2660 children and adolescents diagnosed with TB during 2008-2010, 822 (31%) were foreign-born; Mexico was the most frequently reported country of foreign birth. Over half (52%) of foreign-born patients diagnosed with TB were adolescents aged 13 to 17 years who had lived in the United States on average >3 years before TB diagnosis. Foreign-born pediatric patients with foreign-born parents were older (mean, 7.8 years) than foreign-born patients with US-born parents (4.2 years) or US-born patients (3.6 years). Among US-born pediatric patients, 66% had at least 1 foreign-born parent, which is >3 times the proportion in the general population. Only 25% of pediatric patients with TB diagnosed in the United States had no known international connection through family or residence history.


Three-quarters of pediatric patients with TB in the United States have potential TB exposures through foreign-born parents or residence outside the United States. Missed opportunities to prevent TB disease may occur if clinicians fail to assess all potential TB exposures during routine clinic visits.

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