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    Gram stain is a subjective and poorly controlled test, and the resultant errors often perplex laboratory scientists. To reduce errors and make Gram stain a precisely controllable and meritorious test, a standardized Gram stain procedure for bacteria and inflammatory cells was developed using an automated staining instrument in this study. Freshly expectorated sputum specimens, used as the optimized targets, were smeared on slides by laboratory technicians, defining each slide loaded with uniform matrix and monolayer cell. And then, the staining and decolorizing time, as well as the stain and decolorant volume, were optimized as 15, 105, 1, and 25 s and 1.1, 1.4, 0.3, and 0.7 ml, respectively. Culture-positive blood specimens and original purulent fluids were used for confirming the developed standardized Gram stain procedure. Distinct tinctures of bacteria and inflammatory cells adhered to slide uniformly in a monolayer were observed, and the obtained staining results of these samples were highly consistent with their cultured results. Furthermore, according to the staining results under different staining conditions, an updated molecular mechanism of Gram stain for bacteria and the probable staining mechanism for inflammatory cells were also proposed in this study. © 2020 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Hui Li, Lele Li, Yuanyuan Chi, Qingwu Tian, Tingting Zhou, Chunhua Han, Yuanqi Zhu, Yusun Zhou. Development of a standardized Gram stain procedure for bacteria and inflammatory cells using an automated staining instrument. MicrobiologyOpen. 2020 Sep;9(9):e1099

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    PMID: 32592452

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