[Histonet] Re: Gram stain

Bob Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Tue Jul 1 14:02:58 CDT 2014

Tanya G. Abbott RT (CSMLS), Manager Technologist, Histology/Cytology, St.
Joseph Medical Center, Reading PA asks:

>>We only perform a few Gram stains a year, hardly seems worth It to keep a
kit and expire reagents! Does anyone have an idea for other options? Ie,
doing the stains in Micro? Checking with their BD rep to see if we can do
their Gram stain kit on formalin fixed tissue.<<

No, you cannot do a bacteriological type Gram stain on formalin fixed
paraffin embedded tissue sections.

What's needed here is some pathologist education. You're not trying to
identify bacteria, you're trying to find them and maybe count them. For
that you need a very simple blue stain such as Diff-Quik II or "Giemsa" or
toluidine blue. Tissue Gram stains are not worth doing, and should be

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN

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