Auramine phenol stain

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Auramine phenol stain is a stain used in clinical microbiology and histology to identify tuberculosis mycobacteria.

There are two types of auramine phenol stains, 1 and 2 to stain mycobacterium species and cryptosporidium respectively. Both are fluorescent stains. The bacteria or the parasites appear brilliant greenish yellow against dark background.[1] Mycolic acids of the mycobacteria keep this stain when decolorising with the acid alcohol.The method is more rapid and sensitive than ZN technique.[2]


  • Smears are prepared just like that for ZN staining
  • Stain with Auramine-Phenol for 20 mins
  • Rinse with water
  • Decolourise in acid alcohol
  • Rinse with water
  • Counterstain with 0.1% potassium permanganate for 30 seconds
  • Rinse and air dry[3]


  1. ^ "Microbiology training log". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Comparison of the value of two different sputum staining for diagnosis of acid-fast bacilli". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Parasitology stains". Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2012.