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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Histology of Dermatological Specimens - Part 2. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about The Histology of Dermatological Specimens - Part 2 (online CE course) »

Fite for leprosy

Brown and Brenn stain for bacteria

Special Stains for Skin: Bacteria

Skin is naturally colonized by various types of bacteria, most of which are harmless when skin is healthy. But when bacteria infiltrate the skin, an infection may need special treatment. MOST bacterial infections of the skin are caused by only two genus of bacteria:

  • Staphylococcus: Including S.aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA)
  • Streptococcus: Including S. pyogenes (group A strep)
    Some skin conditions caused by bacteria include:
    • Folliculitis
    • Impetigo
    • Cellulitis
    • Boils
    • Leprosy

    Ziehl-Neelsen stain for acid-fast bacteria (AFB): Demonstrates AFB (also known as mycobacteria) by staining the lipid cell walls a bright red.
    Fite acid-fast stain for leprosy: Demonstrates the acid-fast organism Mycobacterium leprae by staining the cell walls a bright red.
    Gram stain/Brown and Brenn stain: Stains both cocci and bacilli and differentiates between gram-positive bacteria (purple) and gram-negative bacteria (reddish-pink).