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Special Stain - Giemsa

  • Bacteria and Blood cells Staining
  • Giemsa Technique
  • Modified Giemsa Method

Giemsa stain is used as the standard stain for haematopoietic cell nuclei and platelets.  The basic principle underlying the stain is that a basophilic or basic dye, methylene blue, is combined with eosinophilic acidic dyes, eosin, azure A and azure B - to create "neutral dyes" that demonstrate a wide variety of colours when used to stain haematopoietic cell nuclei and platelets.  The creation of the "neutral dye" is the reason those stains are called polychromatic stains, or stains of many colours.  A key step in these special staining techniques is to differentiate the stain using a weak acid solution.


Information on how to perform the technique is listed below.

1.     Take sections to water

2.     Stain in Giemsa solution - 60 minutes at 60°C

3.     Rinse in water

4.     Differentiate in 1% acetic acid until the section appears pink.

5.     Dehydrate, clear and mount .




Neutrophil granules


Eosinophil granules

Bright Red

Basophil granuless


Red blood cells


Photo - Giemsa Stain

Modified Giemsa is the stain used in histology specifically for detection of for H.plylori. This is run on similar principals to that of the giemsa stain, except that it is more specific.


1.     Take sections to water

2.     Stain in Giemsa solution for 20 minutes at room temperature

3.     Rinse in tap water

4.     Quickly dehydrate, clear and mount



Dark Blue


Pale blue

Photo - x10 Modified Giemsa