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The recent paper by Rotimi and colleagues1 does not mention the acridine orange stain2 when comparing staining methods for the identification of Helicobacter pylori. The acridine orange stain uses ultraviolet fluorescence in the identification of bacteria. The typical curved morphology of H pylori can easily be differentiated from other bacteria.3–5 I have used this quick, cheap, and reliable stain in routine histopathology reporting for over 16 years and it has proved to be extremely useful in the identification of H pylori.
Immunohistochemistry is now recognised as the “gold standard” because it is a highly sensitive and specific staining method.1 After the publication of the above mentioned article, 20 consecutive gastric biopsies that were positive for H pylori using the acridine orange stain were also stained using the polyclonal anti-H pylori antibody (Dako, Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK) at a dilution of 1/100. Twenty negative control cases were similarly studied. All 20 cases that were positive with the acridine orange stain were also positive by immunohistochemistry and all negative cases were …