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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis preventive treatment (TPT) is strongly recommended for children following infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis because of their high risk of progression to active tuberculosis, including severe disseminated disease. We describe the implementation of TPT for children and adolescents with evidence of tuberculosis infection (TBI) at Victoria's largest children's hospital and examine factors affecting treatment completion. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective clinical audit of all children and adolescents aged <18 years diagnosed with latent TBI at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, between 2010 and 2016 inclusive. The primary outcome was treatment completion, defined as completing TPT to within one month of a target duration for the specified regimen (for instance, at least five months of a six-month isoniazid course), confirmed by the treating clinician. Factors associated with treatment adherence were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: Of 402 participants with TBI, 296 (74%) met the criteria for treatment "complete". The most common TPT regimen was six months of daily isoniazid (377, 94%). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, treatment completion was more likely among children and adolescents who had refugee health screening performed (OR 2.31, 95%CI 1.34-4.00) or who were also treated for other medical conditions (OR 1.67 95%CI 1.0-2.85), and less likely among those who experienced side-effects (OR 0.32, 95%CI 0.11-0.94). However, TPT was generally well tolerated with side-effects reported in 15 participants (3.7%). CONCLUSION: Identification of factors associated with TPT completion and deficiencies in the existing care pathway have informed service provision changes to further improve outcomes for Victorian children and adolescents with TBI.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Adolescent, Antitubercular Agents, Child, Clinical Audit, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions, Humans, Isoniazid, Latent Tuberculosis, Retrospective Studies, Tuberculosis, Lymph Node