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Home Immunology Grocott's Methenamine Silver (GMS) stain and troubleshooting
Grocott's Methenamine Silver (GMS) stain and troubleshooting
Protocols - Immunology

For the detection of fungal elements in tissue sections. This is an essential stain and should be used whenever a fungal etiology is suspected.

Mechanism: Chromic acid treated fungi possess aldehydes which will reduce the hexamine-silver mixture to produce a black deposit, i.e. an argentaffin reaction. Fungi stain black.


1. 5% aqueous chromic acid

2. 1% aqueous sodium bisulphite

3. 5% aqueous borax

4. 0.1% aqueous gold chloride

5. 2% aqueous sodium thiosulphate

6. Stock Methenamine Silver solution.

Add 5 ml of 5% silver nitrate to 100 ml of 3% hexamine. A white precipitate will form which, on shaking, will dissolve. This solution will keep from 1-2 months at 4oC.

7. Working silver solution (filter before use).


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