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Clin Lab. 2004;50(11-12):685-8.

The use of a differential fluorescent staining method to detect bacteriuria.

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  • 1Clinical Pathology, "Spirito Santo " Hospital, Pescara, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This report describes a differential staining method which distinguishes gram-positive from gram-negative bacteria in fluorescence. Gram-positive bacteria appear yellow and gram-negative bacteria appear green.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The method is based on two fluorochromes, one acting in the wavelength of red, i.e. the acridine orange, and another acting in the wavelength of green, i.e. the fluorescein, which together form a red/ green system. In this report we compared the accuracy of the differential fluorescent staining method and the Gram stain in screening for bacteriuria, as detected by conventional cultures.

RESULTS:

A total of 1487 urine samples were tested. 289 cultures were positive. 237 specimens grew a single organism at 10(5) and 10(4) CFU/ml. 224 smears were detected by the differential fluorescent staining method and 162 were detected by Gram stain. 1198 samples failed to grow organisms at 10(5) and 10(4) CFU/ml. 107 smears were falsely positive by the fluorescent staining procedure and 289 were falsely positive by the Gram stain. On the basis of the culture results, the sensitivity of the differential fluorescent staining method was 94.5% and that of the Gram stain 68.3%. The specificity of the fluorescent staining procedure was 91.6% and that of the Gram stain 75.8%. The positive predictive value and the negative predictive value of the fluorescent staining method were 67.6% and 98.8%, respectively. Those of the Gram stain were 35.9% and 92.3%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

A wide range of microbiological and chemical techniques are available to identify bacteria in urine. This fluorescent staining method represents a simple, rapid, reliable method with low-running costs. The main advantage of this technique is that it enables the microbiologist to exclude the presence of bacteria in the urine within a short time after specimen receipt and to eliminate a large number of specimens for culture with significant cost saving. Another advantage of the method is that it allows to distinguish gram-positive from gram-negative bacteria in positive slides on the same day the sample is obtained. The stained smears were easily interpreted, even when the bacterial counts in the specimen were low.

PMID:
15575310
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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