AAT Bioquest

What are the reagents used in the Ziehl-Neelsen stain?

Posted March 22, 2023


The reagents used in Ziehl-Neelsen stain are acid alcohol, carbol fuchsin, and methylene blue/malachite green. The carbol fuchsin is the primary dye, the acid-alcohol is the decolorizer, and the methylene blue dye is the counterstain. Acid fast bacteria will retain the primary dye, carbol fuschin, and stain the cells red/pink. On the other hand, non-acid fast bacteria will retain the counterstain, methylene blue, and stain the cells blue.

Additional resources

Acid Fast Bacteria

MycoLight™ Live Bacteria Fluorescence Imaging Kit