The identification of improved diagnostic tests for tuberculosis has been identified as a global research priority. Over the past decade, there has been renewed interest in the development and validation of novel diagnostic tools for pulmonary tuberculosis that are applicable to resource-poor settings. These techniques are aimed primarily at improving detection of the organism or a specific host immune response. Although most studies have focused on determining the accuracy of novel tests in adults, it is likely they will also have the capacity to significantly improve the diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis. Improving the quality of clinical samples obtained fromchildren with suspected tuberculosis remains an important research priority while awaiting validation of novel diagnostic tests. This review will focus on a number of recent developments for the diagnosis of tuberculosis, with a specific emphasis on the application of these new tests to children in settings where tuberculosis is endemic.