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Epidemiol Infect. 2014 Oct;142(10):2049-56. doi: 10.1017/S0950268813003191. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

The spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis in children: an Italian case series.

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Department of Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases Unit,University of Turin,Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Turin,Italy.
TB Reference Centre/Villa Marelli Institute, Department of Pneumology, Niguarda Hospital, Milan,Italy.
Paediatrics and Infectious Disease Unit, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome,Italy.
Department of Maternal and Paediatric Sciences,Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico,Milan,Italy.
TB Reference Centre/Villa Marelli Institute, Department of Paediatrics, Niguarda Hospital, Milan,Italy.


Drug-resistant paediatric tuberculosis (TB) is an overlooked global problem. In Italy, the epidemiology of TB has recently changed and data regarding drug-resistant forms in the paediatric setting is scanty. The aim of this case series was to report the cases of drug-resistant TB, diagnosed between June 2006 and July 2010 in four Italian tertiary centres for paediatric infectious diseases, in children and adolescents living in Italy. Twenty-two children were enrolled, of these 17 were resistant to one or more drugs and five had multidrug-resistant TB. All but one child were either foreign born or had at least one foreign parent. Twenty-one patients completed their treatment without clinical or radiological signs of activity at the end of treatment, and one patient was lost to follow up. The outcomes were good, with few adverse effects using second-line anti-TB drugs. Although this series is limited, it might already reflect the worrisome increase of drug-resistant TB, even in childhood.

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