Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Giemsa Stain

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_1275-2

This staining was developed by Gustav Giemsa as a classic blood film stain for peripheral blood smears (e.g., Plasmodium species) and bone marrow smears (e.g., Leishmania species). Erythrocytes stain red to pink, cytoplasm of lymphocytes appears blue, monocyte cytoplasm stains pale blue, while chromatin of leucocytes appears in magenta. Besides protozoans and “white” cells, Giemsa stain is also able to stain the histoplasm of fungi and, e.g., bacteria of the Chlamydia type. The staining of thin blood smears and thick films is performed as follows:

Thin Film/Blood Smear

A small droplet of blood is spread with the help of a glass slide in order to get the thinnest film (Fig. 1, above, middle) and it is air-dried before the following procedure is done:


Thin Film Bone Marrow Glass Slide Thick Film Blood Smear 
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Further Reading

  1. Giemsa G (1904) Eine Vereinfachung und Vervollkommnung meiner Methylenblau-Eosin-Färbemethode zur Erzielung der Romanowsky-Nocht’schen Chromatinfärbung. Centralblatt Bakt I Abt 32:307–3013Google Scholar
  2. Mehlhorn H (2016) The parasites of humans. 8th ed. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany