Staining for Helicobacter pylori in gastric biopsy sections

John P. Hegarty jph10 at psu.edu
Fri Jan 1 20:12:16 EST 1999

Bob Dilworth wrote in message <36869D66.7FDAA71E at toledolink.com>...

> I have never heard of counter staining with carbol fuchsin.  What is the
> timing involved?  Do you use regular gram stain decolorizer?
> Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)


Helicobacter counter-stains very weakly with safranin - definitely not
helpful when examining a series of slides.  As dahd recommended, replace the
usual safranin with carbol fushin.

A modified McMullen's stain was just published in the journal
"Helicobacter", March 1998.  "Paraffin-embedded sections were dewaxed and
treated with 0.2% w/v carbol fuchsin for two min; then 1.0% w/v malachite
green was applied for two minutes. RESULTS: This technique stained the
bacterial from a deep magenta against a light green background. The
characteristic morphology of H. pylori was identified very easily as a
stumpy curved rod, and the coccoid forms were also identified. Staining was
not specific with mixed samples of bacteria, but it was sufficient to
identify H. pylori in the gastric mucosa."

John Hegarty
jph10 at psu.edu
Helicobacter Research Lab
Environmental Microbiology
Penn State

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