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February 1961

Acridine Orange Fluorescent Stain for Fungi

Author Affiliations


Associate in Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine and Clinical Investigator, Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr. Chick).

From the Department of Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine, and the Laboratory Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Durham, N.C.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(2):305-309. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580080135015

Introduction  Acridine orange has been used for some time as a fluorescent stain for nucleoproteins and for tissue mucopolysaccharides.6 It has also found use as a vital stain for blood parasites.8By accident it was found that the technique of Hicks and Matthaei for the fluorescent staining of mucin4 would also stain fungi in tissue sections which would then fluoresce under blue-violet light.7 This finding led to a study of further applications of this method to demonstrate structural details of the fungi themselves and as diagnostic aids in clinical evaluations.

Materials and Methods 

Microscope and Filters.—  These studies were done using a Reichert Zetopan microscope with fluorescent attachments. Results were checked periodically with an ordinary binocular microscope and lamp equipped with filters for fluorescent microscopy7 to insure adaptability to this apparatus. In the latter apparatus a Leitz or Zeiss bluelight fluorescence filter (BG 12, 4 mm.