Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Staining technique: Wright's stain

Synonym(s): Romanowsky stain

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Lesa Thompson

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Introduction

  • A Romanowsky-type stain.
  • The choice of stain used is dependent on availability of equipment and staining solutions, and the experience and preference of the clinician.
  • Stains can be either applied manually with the aid of cuvettes, or mechanically in automated staining systems.
  • Romanowsky stains are neutral stains composed of a mixture of oxidized methylene blue (azure) dyes and Eosin Y.
  • The azures are basic dyes that bind acid nuceli and result in a blue to purple color.
  • Eosin dyes are acidic dyes that are attracted to the alkaline cytoplasm, producing red coloration.
  • They generally provide excellent nuclear detail and also clear differentiation of the cytoplasm.
  • Buffer is critical to force the dyes to precipitate out of solution to bind sample material.
  • Wright's stain can be used for non-gynecological clinical material.

Uses

  • Hematology and cytology.
  • Differentiation of blood cells in peripheral blood smears and bone marrow aspirates.
  • Detects intracellular leishamaniasis on blood smears, lymph node aspirates or in histological preparations in the dog. Note that Leishmania infections in lizards usually show low numbers of parasites in blood smears.

Advantages

  • No need for prior fixing of cells if Hemofast® (a fixative containing neutral methyl alcohol, ie does not contain acetone, therefore there is no need for prior fixing of the smeared slides) is used.

Disadvantages

  • Distilled water must be used for Hemofast®.
  • Tap water cannot be used as calcium can cause precipitation of eosin into an insoluble calcium salt.

Requirements

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Campbell T W (2015) Stains and Solutions Used in Hematology and Cytology. In: Exotic Animal Hematology and Cytology. 4th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 381.

Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Ballard & Ryan Cheek: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician © 2017, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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