Medical Tests

Microscopic Examination

Microbiology

Microscopic examination is an investigation, in which a microscope is used to detect and study micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites).


Indication

Microscopic examination plays a role in the demonstration and identification of pathogenic micro-organisms in case of an infectious disease. When it’s known which organism causes the infection, appropriate therapy can be initiated to combat this organism.


Working

The micro-organisms can be identified on the basis of their appearance, structure, colouring pattern and how they move. Sometimes, this can only be seen with specialized, very strongly magnifying microscopes. There are various types of microscopes, such as light microscopes, phase-contrast microscopes, dark field microscopes and electron microscopes.


Procedure

An obtained tissue sample is spread in an even thin layer on a rectangular piece of glass (a slide). Chemical colouring agents are applied to such a smear. This will cause the bacteria to contrast the background and they can be identified with the aid of a microscope. Another option is to grow a sample first and then to do microscopic examination.


Facts


Synonyms

Microscopy


See also

Parasite

Microbiological Culture

Smear

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