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Free Content Tuberculosis infection and disease in children living in households of Filipino patients with tuberculosis: a preliminary report

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SETTING: DOTS Clinic with a DOTS-Plus pilot project for the management of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in a high burden country.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) infection and disease among pediatric household contacts of patients with pulmonary TB (PTB).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODOLOGY: One hundred and fifty-three children aged 0–15 years in the households of 62 bacteriologically confirmed PTB patients, including 44 with MDR-TB, were studied. BCG scars were noted, and tuberculin skin test (TST), screening chest radiography, and sputum or gastric aspirate smear and culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in those with radiographic findings suggestive of PTB were done.

RESULTS: For children in this study, the prevalences of latent TB infection (LTBI), radiographically diagnosed pulmonary TB, and bacillary pulmonary TB were 69.2%, 3.3%, and 0.65%, respectively. Only age ≥5 years was found to be a significant predictor of LTBI (OR 3.17, 95%CI 1.43–7.01).

CONCLUSION: Contact investigation for active case-finding and early treatment of TB in children from households of patients with active PTB is essential for TB control. Further study on a more precise definition of TB infection and strategies for control in this population will be pursued.

Keywords: Philippines; contact tracing; pediatric contact cases; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Makati Medical Center, Makati, Philippines 2: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA 3: Makati Medical Center, Makati, Philippines; and the Tropical Disease Foundation, Makati, Philippines 4: Department of Health, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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