The supplement draws attention to the startling lack of information on the subject and the unsatisfactory data being used to provide treatment to this vulnerable population. The articles provide a summary of the current state of treatment for children with MDR-TB and provide a blueprint for the next steps to develop more effective and less toxic treatment regimens.
The editorial explains that there has been very little study into MDR-TB in children and much of what is known about diagnosis and treatment is extrapolated from studies on adults and is highly speculative in nature. While firm data are scarce, the authors of one study estimate that between 25,000 and 32,000 children develop MDR-TB annually, but that only a small percentage of those children receive treatment due to poor diagnostics ability and a lack of treatment capacity.
The supplement also examines better methods of contact tracing to ensure children with MDR-TB are identified, how best to include children in clinical trials, statistical challenges posed in trial design and conduct, and how to ensure community and family engagement in the trial process.
THE MATERNAL AND CHILD TB WORKING GROUP
The maternal and child TB working group published a Cochrane protocol on the performance of TB symptom screening of pregnant women infected with HIV. They are working to complete a systematic review of the literature.