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Free Content The assessment of new anti-tuberculosis drugs for a paediatric indication [Counterpoint]

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For the first time in three decades there is a promising pipeline of more than 20 new anti-tuberculosis agents at various stages of development, and several are already entering early clinical trials. Childhood tuberculosis (TB) comprises a significant part of the TB caseload, particularly in developing communities. There is, nonetheless, as yet no agreed pathway for the assessment of anti-tuberculosis agents in children. The feasibility of assessing an anti-tuberculosis agent in a childhood population is discussed in the present study, and it is concluded that it would be very difficult to assess the efficacy of an anti-tuberculosis agent in children due to the wide spectrum of diseases encountered in children and the lack of objective criteria to assess the response to treatment. However, it is essential that the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of any new agent should be assessed in a population of children over a range of ages.

Keywords: anti-tuberculosis drugs; assessment; childhood tuberculosis

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: Departments of Paediatrics and Child Health and Molecular Biology and Human Genetics and the Medical Research Council Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch and Tygerberg Children's Hospital, Tygerberg, South Africa

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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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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