Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteremia in adults and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis


SETTINGp: Among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected adults living in tuberculosis (TB) endemic settings, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a common cause of bloodstream infections. Although young children have an increased propensity for M. tuberculosis dissemination, M. tuberculosis bacteremia is infrequently described in children. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of M. tuberculosis bacteremia in adult and pediatric patients and to examine sources of heterogeneity between estimates. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. RESULTS: Of 1077 reviewed abstracts, 27 publications met the inclusion criteria, yielding 29 independent M. tuberculosis bacteremia prevalence estimates: 22 in adults, 6 in children, and 1 not stratified by age group. The random effects pooled M. tuberculosis bacteremia prevalence in adults was 13.5% (95%CI 10.8-16.2) and 0.4% (95%CI 0-0.9) in children (P for difference = 0.004). Restricting analyses to HIV-infected participants, pooled M. tuberculosis bacteremia prevalence from 21 adult studies was 15.5% (95%CI 12.5-18.5) and 0.8% (95%CI 0-1.8) in three pediatric studies (P = 0.001). Inclusion of pre-determined study-level confounders did not account for observed differences in M. tuberculosis bacteremia prevalence between age groups. CONCLUSION: While M. tuberculosis bacteremia appears relatively common in adults, particularly those with HIV infection, bloodstream M. tuberculosis appears to be rare in children.


Pavlinac PB, Lokken EM, Walson JL, Richardson BA, Crump JA, John-Stewart GC.




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Tuberculosis


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