print   Print full article

Screening of young children for Tuberculosis is not practiced in Australia but there are National guidelines for screening contacts of cases to determine whether infection or disease is present. Most of this contact screening is done through the Tuberculosis Control Authority in each state of Australia. By combining an interview, tuberculin skin test (e.g. Mantoux Test) and chest x-ray as appropriate, infected or diseased individuals can be identified.

If infection is suspected there should always be consultation with an expert Tuberculosis physician as there is a high frequency of false negative skin tests in children. The standard regimen for treatment of tuberculosis in Australia is a six-month regimen if there are no complicating features. Children who have a strongly positive skin test but no evidence of disease are given a six to nine month course of preventive therapy to prevent infection from developing into disease.