Paediatric tuberculosis in Queensland, Australia: overrepresentation of cross-border and Indigenous children

Donnan, E. J., Coulter, C., Simpson, G., Clark, J. and Nourse, C. (2017) Paediatric tuberculosis in Queensland, Australia: overrepresentation of cross-border and Indigenous children. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 21 3: 263-269. doi:10.5588/ijtld.16.0313


Author Donnan, E. J.
Coulter, C.
Simpson, G.
Clark, J.
Nourse, C.
Title Paediatric tuberculosis in Queensland, Australia: overrepresentation of cross-border and Indigenous children
Journal name International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1815-7920
1027-3719
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5588/ijtld.16.0313
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Start page 263
End page 269
Total pages 7
Place of publication Paris, France
Publisher International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Setting: Queensland, Australia.

Background: Understanding paediatric tuberculosis (TB) is important, as children with TB typically reflect recent community transmission. Children pose unique diagnostic challenges and are at risk of developing severe disseminated infection.

Objective: To describe the epidemiology, presentation and outcomes of children with TB disease in Queensland.

Design: This is a retrospective case series of children diagnosed with TB aged 0-16 years notified in 2005-2014. Data collected in the Queensland Notifiable Conditions System were extracted and analysed.

Results: Of 127 children diagnosed with TB, 16 were Australian-born (including 12 Indigenous Queenslanders), 41 were overseas-born permanent and temporary residents and 70 were cross-border Papua New Guinea (PNG) children; 88 children had pulmonary disease (with/without other sites) and 39 had extrapulmonary disease only, with lymph node TB the predominant extra-pulmonary site; 70.1% of children had laboratory confirmation; and 14 cross-border children had multidrug-resistant TB. Treatment outcomes among children residing in Australia were good (100% among Australian-born and 97.2% among permanent and temporary residents), but they were less favourable among PNG children diagnosed in the Torres Strait Protected Zone (76.6%).

Conclusion: Queensland has unique challenges in TB control, with a high proportion of cross-border diagnoses and over-representation of Indigenous children. Vigilance is needed given the wide spectrum of clinical presentation, particularly in high-risk communities.
Keyword Children
Communicable disease control
Papua New Guinea
Tuberculosis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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