Live and stained microscopy (H&E and gram staining) of bacteria in single culture from previously taken mouth swab from Hannah 5/11/2017

Today, was Hannah’s turn. Both children prepared slides from the culture we have grown from a swab taken a couple weeks back, stained with H&E and Gram stains and viewed live, H&E, and Gram stained samples under the microscope using x4, x20, x32 objectives. For some reason, we weren’t able to obtain focus with the 63x objective today – not sure why!

Our conclusion – Hannah has Gram positive rods in her mouth, most likely Actinomyces, possibly Actinmyces Israelii.

Actinomyces israelii is a species of Gram-positive, strict anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. It is known to live commensally on and within humans in the mouth, vagina and colon, A. israelii is an opportunistic pathogen. It was named after the German Surgeon, James Adolf Israel (1848–1926), who studied the organism for the first time in 1878 (Wikipedia).

Andy, Rhys and Hannah

Rhys and Hannah made these slides:

Microscopy-culture-form-Hannahs-mouth-051117-x4-obj-live-sample (below):

Microscopy culture form Hannahs mouth 051117 x20 obj live sample Ph1 (Phase contrast gave much better view than non-phase live images, although bacteria could be seen in both – in Phase contrast the bacteria appear dark as if stained (below):

Microscopy-culture-form-Hannahs-mouth-051117-x32-obj-live-sample-Ph1 (below):

Microscopy-culture-form-Hannahs-mouth-051117-x32-obj-Gram stain (the first one also has Phase annulus 1 in place, 2nd photo does not. In theory phase contrast should not be used on these samples but we found today it did enhance the image by darkening the background and improving contrast). It is clear that this bacterium is Gram positive (blue) and consists of rods:

Microscopy-culture-form-Hannahs-mouth-051117-x32-obj-H&E stain – again first image also has Phase annulus 1 in place and next two do not. Although the pictures look similar, the stains are not staining the same things. H&E stains nuclei and membranes blue and cytoplasm pink regardless of Gram staining characteristics. Some bacteria are Gram positive (blue) others are Gram negative (pink):


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