Publications & Reports

Treatment of Rifampicin-Resistant Tuberculosis Disease and Infection in Children: Key Updates, Challenges and Opportunities.

Howell P, Achar J, Huang GKL, Mariandyshev A, Schaaf HS, Garcia-Prats AJ
Clinical HIV Research Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital, 2 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg 2131, South Africa.


Children affected by rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB; TB resistant to at least rifampicin) are a neglected group. Each year an estimated 25,000-30,000 children develop RR-TB disease globally. Improving case detection and treatment initiation is a priority since RR-TB disease is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Untreated paediatric TB has particularly high morbidity and mortality. However, children receiving TB treatment, including for RR-TB, respond well. RR-TB treatment remains a challenge for children, their caregivers and TB programmes, requiring treatment regimens of up to 18 months in duration, often associated with severe and long-term adverse effects. Shorter, safer, effective child-friendly regimens for RR-TB are needed. Preventing progression to disease following Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is another key component of TB control. The last few years have seen exciting advances. In this article, we highlight key elements of paediatric RR-TB case detection and recent updates, ongoing challenges and forthcoming advances in the treatment of RR-TB disease and infection in children and adolescents. The global TB community must continue to advocate for more and faster research in children on novel and repurposed TB drugs and regimens and increase investments in scaling-up effective approaches, to ensure an equitable response that prioritises the needs of this vulnerable population.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Pathogens
  • Published: 23/03/2022
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 381