Giemsa staining

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ΕΤΥΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ

Described by Gustav Giemsa, a malariologist.

Histological staining originally designed for staining the malarial parasite, but also useful as a histological stain for cytology, blood cells and bone marrow smears.

Romanosky-type staining shows the schizont stage of Plasmodium.

The dark staining has a predilection for the phosphate groups within DNA and therefore stains DNA-rich regions such as the chromatin and the nuclear membrane. Within the chromosomes, certain regions are richer in adenine and thymine giving rise to appearence of banding, known as G-banding.

Staining:

Background cytoplasm 
pink/pale blue
Nuclei 
dark blue/violet

In blood:

Erythrocytes
pink
Platelets
light pink
Lymphocyte cytoplasm 
sky blue, monocyte cytoplasm stains pale blue, and
Leucocyte nuclear chromatin
magenta.

Non-human cells

Helicobacter
blue/grey
Plasmodium
 ?

Chemistry

The slide is fixed with methanol, then immersed in 1:20 Giemsa solution, a mixture of azure, methylene blue and eosin. It is rinsed off and left to dry.