Of the options available for detection of microsporidia, electron microscopy (EM) is the 'gold standard'. However, EM is not available to most laboratories and is less sensitive than other methods. Other techniques include Giemsa staining and modified trichrome stains. Screening methods employing chemofluorescent agents such as Calcofluor are sensitive but non-specific. Newer approaches include the use of poly- and monoclonal antibodies but are not yet commercially available. Microsporidia are difficult to detect because of their small size, often against a debris-filled background. A modified trichrome stain with increased Chromotrope 2R and aniline blue as counterstain instead of light green SF (Ryan et al. 1993) gives good contrast between microsporidia and background.

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