Re: McFadyean's Post Note(continued)

From:Bryan Hewlett


I don't have E.Gurr's 1956 book you quote, but I do have his 1962 book
"Staining animal tissues: Practical and Theoretical'
In that text he gives Loeffler's Methylene blue as;

Methylene blue.. 3.0g
Absolute alcohol..30.0 mL
KOH 0.01% w/v aqueous...100.0 mL.

He also gives Polychrome Methylene blue(Unna) as;

Methylene blue...1.0g
Potassium carbonate...1.0g
Abs.Alc......20.0 mL
Water.......100.0 mL
Heat to 60C for 15 minutes, cool and filter.

There is no mention of McFadyean's.
However, in his brother's (G.Gurr) 1956 book 'Biological Staining Methods'
6th Ed.
McFadyean's stain for B. anthracis(page 12) is as follows;

1. Make blood film and fix by heat.
2. Stain for a few seconds with Mcfadyean's methylene blue.

Result. Between the bacteria a purplish material is seen which is
characteristic of B.anthracis.
On page 88, McFadyean's methylene blue is given as a "ripened" Loeffler's
methylene blue which is exposed to light and air for several months until it
acquires a purplish tinge.



Bryan R. Hewlett
(Old retired guy)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Barbara Stancel" 
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 9:34 PM
Subject: McFadyean's Post Note

> After sending the below message, I discovered a reference in Edward Gurr's
> 1960 book "Encyclopeadia of Microscopic Stains"(which I have). On page 266
> Gurr talks about the Loeffler's Alkaline Methylene Blue method. He
> references his 1956 book "A Practical Manual of Medical and Biological
> Staining Techniques" and talks about "a number techniques in which
> blue is employed." Perhaps if someone out there has the 1956 Gurr book,
> could check it for me. Probably indexed as McFadyeans's Methylene Blue or
> Loeffler's Alkaline Methylene Blue.  Thank you.  :)
> Original Message:
> If you do a stain called McFadyean's Methylene Blue on paraffin sections
> if you do any stain specific for the capsule of Bacillus anthrasis, I
> like to hear from you. (No, we do not expect to see any......just want to
> look some control blocks using a stain specific for the capsule.)
> Through several internet searches I have found very little about or
> references to McFadyean's. I do know it is usually used on smears. It is a
> simple stain using aged Loeffler's Methylene blue. That is can be rapidly
> oxidized by the use of heat (Unna's polychrome). Thank you Dr. Kiernan.
> site of FAQ was most helpful.
> I am still searching through microbiologically staining sites. Any help
> would be most appreciated.  Any internet site suggestions appreciated.
> But if I am really lucky, one of you will be my 'saving grace' and will be
> able to share some valuable insight and/or experience with McFadyean's
> Methylene Blue.
> Histologically yours,
> Barbara H. Stancel, HTL(ASCP)HT
> USDA, FSIS, OPHS, Eastern Laboratory, Pathology
> RRC, 950 College Station Road
> Athens, Georgia  30604
> phone: (706) 546-3556
> fax: (706) 546-3589
> _________________________________________________________________
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