Global Burden of Childhood Tuberculosis.

Jenkins HE.

Pneumonia (Nathan). 2016;8. doi: 10.1186/s41479-016-0018-6. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) to be responsible for more deaths than any other single infectious disease. The burden of TB among children has frequently been dismissed as relatively low with resulting deaths contributing very little to global under-five all-cause mortality, although without rigorous estimates of these statistics, the burden of childhood TB was, in reality, unknown. Recent work in the area has resulted in a WHO estimate of 1 million new cases of childhood TB in 2014 resulting in 136,000 deaths. Around 3% of these cases likely have multidrug-resistant TB and at least 40,000 are in HIV-infected children. TB is now thought to be a major or contributory cause of many deaths in children under five years old, despite not being recorded as such, and is likely in the top ten causes of global mortality in this age group. In particular, recent work has shown that TB is an under-lying cause of a substantial proportion of pneumonia deaths in TB-endemic countries. Childhood TB should be given higher priority: we need to identify children at greatest risk of TB disease and death and make more use of tools such as active case-finding and preventive therapy. TB is a preventable and treatable disease from which no child should die.

PMID: 28003956

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.