Case 237. Panel: Contamination of non-pathogenic microbes
    Mycobacterium, mites, Alternaria and pollen contaminated in cytologic and histologic specimens    
Key words : Mycobacterium, mite, Alternaria, pollen, contamination
Panel 1
Mycobacterium in a paraffin section of lymph node (Ziehl-Neelsen). Mycobacteria are ubiquitously seen in water. The paraffin section was contaminated with non-pathogenic Mycobacteria abnormally grown in the stained staining bath. Tha bacteria are randomely attached onto the section. Careful cleaning of the staining set is requested.
  Panel 2
A mite seen in a cytology specimen (Papanicolaou). A housedust mite, 0.1 mm in length, is contaminated from air dust onto the specimen. Short legs are observed.
Panel 3
Mites seen at the edge of tissue in a paraffin section (HE). The formalin-fixed breast specimen was incidentally drop down into the housedust in the drawer. Numerous housedust mites are attached at the periphery of the material.
  Panel 4
Alternaria seen in a cytology specimen (Papanicolaou). Alternaria is an airborne fungus and usually non-pathogenic. A pigmented (brown-colored) conidium is characteristically segmented.
Panel 5
Alternaria seen in a gastric biopsy specimen (HE). A pigmented conidium of Alternaria happened to be seen on the inflamed gastric mucosa. This should be regarded as airborne cross-contamination.
  Panel 6
A pollen seen in a gynecologic cytology specimen (Papanicolaou). A round pollen with a transparent exine is seen as airborne contamination. The cytoplasm (intine) is beautifully stained in orange.
Panel 7
Pollen seen in a paraffin section of gastric biopsy specimen (HE). The biopsy specimen, incidentally touched with the pollen-rich blossom, is covered with a good number of pollen, consisting of spiculated exine and nucleated intine.
  Panel 8
Vacuolar change of cervical smear epithelial cells, resembling chlamydial inclusion (Papanicolaou). Vacuolated features of the metaplastic cell somewhat resemble Chlamydia-infected cells with nevular inclusion bodies.
Panel 9
Calcium urate crystals in the urine (Papanicolaou). In the acidic urine, urate tends to be crystalized. Light green-stained crystals somewhat resemble parasitic ova.
  Panel 10
Rods in the aspirated bone marrow (HE). Large-sized rods (probably spore-forming Clostridia) are seen in the aspirated specimen. There are no host response, so that this should be regarded as contamination during specimen handling.