What is the role of Gram staining stool exam in the diagnosis of cholera?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Vibrio cholerae is a gram-negative curved bacillus that is motile by means of a single flagellum. Laboratory diagnosis is required not only for identification but also for epidemiological purposes (see the image below).

Electron microscopic image of Vibrio cholera. Electron microscopic image of Vibrio cholera.

Although observed as a gram-negative organism, the characteristic motility of Vibrio species cannot be identified on a Gram stain, but it is easily seen on direct dark-field examination of the stool.


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