Childhood tuberculosis in Israel: Epidemiological trends and treatment outcomes, 1999-2010 Academic Article uri icon


  • Childhood tuberculosis (TB) poses a high risk for morbidity and death. This study describes the characteristics of childhood TB in Israel and examines treatment outcomes. Data sources were the National TB Registry and the National Civil Census. Between 1999 and 2010, 416 children (aged <18 years) had TB, averaging 1.5 per 100 000 children (range 0.6–3.2), demonstrating a declining trend. The average proportion of all TB cases reported annually that were in children was 8.4% (range 5.4–11.8%). Most (n=320, 79%) of the childhood TB cases were pulmonary. TB rates were highest for the 0–4-year age group and lowest for the 10–14-year age group. Of all childhood TB cases, 236 (56.7%) were born in countries with high prevalence of TB: 214 were Israeli citizens who were Ethiopian-born and 22 were non-Israeli citizens. The overall childhood TB incidence in 2010 was 1.05 cases per 100 000 children. The incidence of TB for Israeli-born children, children whose parents were Ethiopian-born and children of migrant workers was 0.55 per 100 000, 7.5 per 100 000 and 50–100 per 100 000, respectively. Cultures were taken from 60% of all childhood TB cases. Most children (97.8%) achieved treatment success, while three children (0.7%) died. Overall, rates of childhood TB rates in Israel are decreasing. However, children of parents born in countries with a high prevalence of TB are still at high risk of developing TB. Bacteriological confirmation should be encouraged to improve control of childhood TB.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013