Bacteria were first discovered as a causative agent for a disease in the 19th century, the Gram stain has been the oldest stain used for differentiating bacteria into two groups based on their appearance following this test.
What is Gram Stain?
Gram Stain is a staining method used classify bacteria into 2 distinct groups. Two dyes are used in sequence, spaced with a decolorizer which removes color from species having a deficient cell wall. Recognizing these organisms needs further testing, but primary staining is important to outline the tests required.
Why is the Gram Stain suggested?
Gram Stain is suggested in case the following persist:
- Cough, cold, fever
- Chest pain, palpitations, increased heart rate
- Headache, neck stiffness
How is Gram Stain performed?
Gram Stain testing is quite easy to perform. It requires:
- Taking of a sample, which can be any one of the following
- Blood from a vein
- Cerebrospinal Fluid
- Sputum sample
- The sample is then stained and looked under a microscope to observe the presence of the relevant bacteria and is classified into two classes: Gram-Positive & Gram Negative.
What are the parameters measured in the Gram Stain?
In Gram, Stain testing shows a slide with a pink background and the following organisms
- Gram-Positive: Presence of organisms that stain purple.
- Gram Negative: Presence of Pink staining organisms
Preparation before performing Gram Stain
The test is simple and requires no prior preparation.
Post-care after Gram Stain
The sampling procedure is simple and no post-care is required on part of the testee.
Sample types in Gram Stain
Gram Stain testing requires taking a Cerebrospinal Fluid sample, a blood sample, etc. which is taken in a leakproof container, and further processing occurs in the laboratory.
Side effects/ risks of Gram Stain
There are no risks associated with Gram Stain testing.