[Histonet] Re: gram stain

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 10:49:57 CST 2011

The original Brown-Hopps tissue gram stain was published in Lee Luna's
AFIP Manual, 3rd ed. 1968. It did not require picric acid, ethyl
ether, or acetone. I remember that the stain was widely used after

The AFIP manual method does require ethylene glycol monoethyl ether
(Cellosolve 1), which is less of a fire hazard than is ethyl ether.
See the MSDS at
before ordering it, though.

Freida Carson (in the 2nd edition of her book - I don't have the 3rd)
restored the picric acid and acetone in her modification of the
Brown-Hopps method.

Putting on my pathologist hat now - tissue gram stains are greatly
overrated - they don't work nearly as well as they do on smears. If
you want to see or count bacteria in tissue sections, use a simple
blue stain (toluidine blue, or Diff-Quik II or its generic

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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