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Free Content Bulk staining of smears: no demonstrated risk of bacilli transfer from a positive to a negative smear [Short Communication]

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Abstract:

Despite a theoretical risk of transfer of bacilli from a positive to a negative smear, bulk staining is routinely performed in many laboratories. To assess this risk in our laboratory, two smears were made from each sputum specimen and stained with auramine: one smear was stained on a rack and the second using the bulk method. Smears were read blind using a fluorescence microscope. A total of 811 sputum specimens were analysed. No acid-fast bacilli transfer was observed even when staining solution jars had not been renewed for 3 days. Bulk staining is rapid and cheap, and could be used in laboratories with a high workload in low-resource settings.

Keywords: acid-fast bacilli; auramine; bulk staining

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Référence des Mycobactéries, Cotonou, Bénin; Mycobacteriology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 2: Laboratoire de Référence des Mycobactéries, Cotonou, Bénin 3: Immunology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 4: Mycobacteriology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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