Negative Staining Technique of Heine for the Detection of Cryptosporidium spp.: A Fast and Simple Screening Technique



Idzi Potters*, Marjan Van Esbroeck
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium.


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© 2010 Potters and Van Esbroeck;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute of Tropical Medicine,Department of Clinical Sciences, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp,Belgium; Tel: 0032-(0)3-247.64.38; Fax: 0032-(0)3-247.64.40; E-mail: ipotters@itg.be


Abstract

Although inexpensive and easy to perform, the negative staining technique of Heine for the detection of Cryptosporidium spp. has been largely neglected. The lack of familiarity with the negative staining technique, the misconception that a phase-contrast microscope is indispensible and inferior results due to Köhler-illumination, are possible explanations for its low popularity. While the modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique is still considered the Gold Standard for the detection of Cryptosporidium spp., the negative staining technique of Heine should be reconsidered as the screening technique of first choice. Advantages of the negative staining technique of Heine over the modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining are discussed.

Keywords: Cryptosporidium, Heine, Ziehl-Neelsen, Köhler, Phase-contrast.