The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 86, Issue 5, pp 441–447 | Cite as

Newer Diagnostic Tests and their Application in Pediatric TB

  • Chand WattalEmail author
  • Reena Raveendran
Review Article


The diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis is a challenge due to the pauci-bacillary nature of infection and the difficulty in obtaining appropriate sample. In the past 2–3 decades, many new tests were introduced for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) and some of them have been evaluated for their application in pediatric tuberculosis as well. There is an attempt to improve smear microscopy by introducing light-emitting diode (LED) fluorescence microscopy and there are also some automated digital microscopy platforms under evaluation. Introduction of automated liquid culture platform along with rapid molecular based identification methods have considerably reduced the time delay in mycobacterial culture. Recent addition of many nucleic acid amplification platforms like Amplicor PCR, Genprobe, Xpert MTB/Rif, line probe assays, loop mediated isothermal amplification etc are also been found to be useful. Latest techniques like microarray and gene sequencing are also being used in clinical laboratories with variable results. Indirect methods of TB diagnosis like T cell based assays including tuberculin skin test and interferon-gamma release assays have their role primarily in the diagnosis of latent TB. Biomarkers are the latest addition in the battery of TB diagnostic tests facilitating diagnosis using easily accessible samples like urine, blood and breath of patients. Many biomarkers are still under evaluation and some of them are found to have a potential role as promising diagnostic tests of future.


Childhood tuberculosis Mycobacterial culture Line probe assay Xpert MTB/RIF Biomarkers 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Source of Funding



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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Microbiology & ImmunologySir Ganga Ram HospitalNew DelhiIndia

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