Paediatric tuberculosis (TB) is a key indicator for recent transmission and presents a reservoir for the disease. We describe trends in epidemiology, microbiological characteristics and treatment outcome in Denmark between 2000 and 2009. Data was retrieved from the national TB surveillance system and the International Reference Laboratory of Mycobacteriology.In total, 323 TB cases were reported in children below the age of 15 years, accounting for 7.6% of all notified cases in Denmark. The overall incidence rate of childhood TB declined from 4.1 per 100,000 to 1.9 per 100,000 in the study period. Immigrant children comprised 79.6% of all cases, with the highest incidence rate of 94.1 per 100,000 children in 2001. In contrast to immigrant children, the majority of Danish children were younger than 5 years and with known exposure to TB. Pulmonary TB was the commonest presentation. Only half of the cases were culture-confirmed. We observed an overall decreasing trend in the children to adult notification ratio, but a slight increase in the ratio when calculated specifically for ethnic Danes.Childhood TB needs continuous attention with special focus on risk groups. Emphasis on improving early TB case detection, contact tracing and further implementation of preventive treatment is necessary.
Journal review article
European Respiratory Journal, 2014, Vol 43, Issue 3, p. 863-871