Publications & Reports

A new electron microscope positive staining method for viruses in suspension.

Doultree JC, Kiernan RE, Lee JY, Bowden DS, McPhee DA, Tokuyasu KT, Marshall JA
Virology Department, Fairfield Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


A new procedure for the positive staining of viruses in suspension, the Tokuyasu staining procedure (TSP), was evaluated using a non-enveloped virus, rotavirus; an enveloped virus, rubella virus and two glutaraldehyde-treated enveloped viruses, Human T Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-I) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) as models. The TSP involves an initial staining of the virus with uranyl acetate (UA) followed by thin embedding in a mixture of UA and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Using aqueous UA for the TSP, a combination of positively and negatively stained particles was seen for both rotavirus and rubella virus. With glutaraldehyde-fixed HTLV-I and HIV-1, stain penetration did not occur and only negative staining was observed. The substitution of methanolic UA for aqueous UA in the TSP resulted in only positive staining of rotavirus and rubella virus. The change in procedure also resulted in stain penetration of the glutaraldehyde-fixed HTLV-I and HIV-1 to give positively stained particles. Some novel morphological features of rotavirus and rubella virus structure were observed by the TSP.


  • Journal: Journal of Virological Methods
  • Published: 01/06/1992
  • Volume: 37
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: 321-335