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Improved methods for demonstrating acid-fast and spirochetal organisms in histologic sections


, : Improved methods for demonstrating acid-fast and spirochetal organisms in histologic sections. Laboratory Investigation; A Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology 4(1): 9-17

Numerous paraffin sections of tissues from patients with tuberculosis and leprosy, and some lesions caused by certain non-acid fast bacteria, were stained according to commonly used modifications of the Ziehl-Neelsen stain. Tissues from patients with syphilis or Weil's disease (leptospirosis) were impregnated according to techniques proposed by Warthin and Dieterle. Tissues from experimental animals inoculated with Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 12 species of non-acid-fast bacteria were included in the studies as controls for evaluating the specificity of the acid-fast stain. A modification of Fite's fuchsin-formaldehyde method proved to be simple and easy to perform, and superior for the demonstration of acid-fast bacilli in tuberculous and leprous tissues. The modified procedure consists of staining with new fuchsin, applying formalin and decolorizing with acid-alcohol. A counterstain may be used, but is not necessary. Acid-fast organisms stained by this technique are resistant to destaining for long periods; they are detected more frequently and with greater ease, as well as in larger numbers. Non-acid-fast organisms do not retain the primary stain. The Dieterle technique, using uranium nitrate to prevent the impregnation of reticular material, was modified to a relatively more simple procedure which can be performed more quickly. Treponemal and leptospiral organisms are impregnated easily, and they are observed readily in the pale, yellow-brown, relatively homogeneous background.

US$29.90

PMID: 13234306


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