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Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease, with evidence of skeletal TB found in mummies in both the Old and New World. The causative agent is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a fastidious, aerobic, acid-fast bacillus. In the wake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the number of children and adults afflicted with TB has escalated tremendously worldwide in the past 25 years. Control of TB in children often has been neglected because children are ineffective transmitters of the bacillus and frequently escape the attention of TB control programs. However, much of the morbidity and mortality of TB occurs in childhood, and acquisition of TB infection during childhood contributes to the future reservoir of cases. Risk factor-based screening of children for TB infection, appropriate implementation of chemoprophylaxis, and a high degree of suspicion for TB disease on the part of clinicians can decrease the...

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