Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Pathol. 1995 May;103(5):656-9.

Use of the fluorochrome calcofluor white in the screening of stool specimens for spores of microsporidia.

Author information

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle 98195, USA.


Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protozoal pathogens associated with chronic diarrhea in individuals infected with HIV. Direct detection methods for microsporidial spores in stool include chromotrope-based, fluorochrome, and immunofluorescent stains. The authors compared the ability to detect microsporidial spores in 168 stool specimens using two stains: a chromotrope-based modified trichrome stain and a fluorochrome stain, calcofluor white (Cellufluor, Polysciences, Warrington, PA). In addition to being faster and easier to perform, the calcofluor white stain was found to be more sensitive than the chromotrope-based stain, as 6 of 24 specimens positive by calcofluor white were negative by the chromotrope-based stain on initial smear evaluation. Repeat examination confirmed these six as being positive. To evaluate the specificity of the calcofluor white stain, 20 formalin-fixed stool specimens (5 positive and 15 negative for microsporidial spores) were evaluated in blinded fashion by two affiliated clinical laboratories using their own formulations of calcofluor white. A single discrepant result (falsely positive) was reported from one laboratory. The use of the calcofluor white stain is recommended as a simple and highly sensitive screening procedure for the detection of microsporidial spores in stool specimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center