Do all children infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis develop tuberculosis?

No. Most children infected with TB bacilli (i.e. Mycobacterium tuberculosis) do not develop tuberculosis (TB disease) because their immune system is able to control the infection and kill most of the TB bacilli. Therefore, the natural immune response protects most children with TB infection from developing tuberculosis.

Young children infected before 3 years of age and immunocompromised children have a much greater chance (20–50%) of developing tuberculosis after infection with TB bacilli.

Fortunately, most children infected with tuberculous bacilli (TB infection) do not develop tuberculosis (TB disease).

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