Microscopic counts carried out on Mycobacterium leprae and M. tuberculosis suspensions. A comparison of three staining procedures

F. M. Collins, N. E. Morrison, A. M. Dhople, S. R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Standard smears of heat-killed Mycobacterium leprae and M. tuberculosis. H37Rv were counted microscopically following staining by the Ziehl-Neelsen, auramine, and silver-methenamine methods. The numbers of stained bacillary bodies were consistently higher in the silver-methenamine stained smears compared to the Ziehl-Neelsen and auramine stained smears. The auramine smears were examined under ultraviolet illumination and permitted the enumeration of the brightly fluorescent bacilli against a black background. The auramine counts were not as high as those obtained using the silver-methenamine stained preparations but were consistently higher than those obtained with the Ziehl-Neelsen preparations. Both the auramine and silver-methenamine stained preparations clearly outlined the cell walls of the bacilli in the smears and this greatly facilitated the counting process, especially if the cell suspension was badly clumped.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Leprosy
Volume48
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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