Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Smear positive extra pulmonary tuberculosis disease at University of Gondar Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia

Yohannes Zenebe1*, Belay Anagaw2, Wogahta Tesfay3, Tewodros Debebe1 and Baye Gelaw2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

2 Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences; College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

3 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine; College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:21  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-21

Published: 18 January 2013



While pulmonary tuberculosis is the most common presentation, extra pulmonary tuberculosis is also an important clinical problem. However, no adequate information had been made available on the prevalence of smear positive extra pulmonary tuberculosis in Gondar. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and possible risk factors of smear positive extra pulmonary tuberculosis among suspected patients at University of Gondar Hospital.


A cross-sectional study on extra pulmonary tuberculosis suspected patients was conducted at University of Gondar Hospital from January 2012 to April, 2012. Specimens of patients suspected of extra pulmonary tuberculosis were obtained from fine needle aspiration and body fluid samples collected by pathologist. Demographic characteristics and other variables were collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Smears were prepared from each sample and stained by Ziehel Neelson and Wright stain. The result of the study was analyzed with bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.


A total of 344 extra pulmonary tuberculosis suspected clients were included in the study and specimens were taken from lymph node aspirates and body fluids. The overall prevalence of smear positive extra pulmonary tuberculosis was 34 (9.9%). Of these cases of extra pulmonary tuberculosis, lymph node tuberculosis constituted the largest proportion (82.4%). Among the 34 extra pulmonary tuberculosis patients, over half of them (52.9%) were positive for human immunodeficiency virus. The largest proportion of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus cases occurred among persons with in the age group of 31–40 years. Previous history of tuberculosis (OR = 4.77, 95% CI 1.86-12.24), contact to a known tuberculosis cases (OR = 6.67 95% CI 2.78-16.90), history of underlying diseases (OR = 2.79 95% CI 1.15-6.78) and income (OR = 12.9 95% CI 2.25-68.02) were significantly associated with extra pulmonary tuberculosis infection.


The prevalence of smear positive extra pulmonary tuberculosis infection in Gondar is high. Screening of lymph node and other body fluid specimens for extra pulmonary tuberculosis could help for treatment, control and prevention of the disease.

Extra pulmonary tuberculosis; Acid fast bacilli; Northwest Ethiopia