Auramine O

Auramine O is a diarylmethane dye used as a fluorescent stain. In its pure form, Auramine O appears as yellow needle crystals. It is very soluble in water and soluble in ethanol.

Auramine O
Solid Auramine O
Auramine O in aqueous solution
IUPAC name
bis[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]methaniminium chloride
Other names
auramine hydrochloride, basic yellow 2, pyocatanium aureum, aizen auramine, pyoktanin yellow, canary yellow, pyoktanin, or C.I. 41000
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.017.789
Molar mass 303.83 g·mol−1
Melting point 267 °C (513 °F; 540 K)
R-phrases (outdated) R22 R24 R40
S-phrases (outdated) S36/37 S45
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Auramine O can be used to stain acid-fast bacteria (e.g. Mycobacterium, where it binds to the mycolic acid in its cell wall) in a way similar to Ziehl-Neelsen stain.[1] It can also be used as a fluorescent version of the Schiff reagent.[2]

Auramine O can be used together with Rhodamine B as the Truant auramine-rhodamine stain for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.[3][4] It can be also used as an antiseptic agent.


  1. Kommareddi S, Abramowsky C, Swinehart G, Hrabak L (1984). "Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections: comparison of the fluorescent auramine-O and Ziehl-Neelsen techniques in tissue diagnosis". Hum Pathol. 15 (11): 1085–9. doi:10.1016/S0046-8177(84)80253-1. PMID 6208117.
  2. Khavkin T, Kudryavtseva M, Dragunskaya E, Polotsky Y, Kudryavtsev B (1980). "Fluorescent PAS-reaction study of the epithelium of normal rabbit ileum and after challenge with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli". Gastroenterology. 78 (4): 782–90. PMID 6986320.
  3. Truant J, Brett W, Thomas W (1962). "Fluorescence microscopy of tubercle bacilli stained with auramine and rhodamine". Henry Ford Hosp Med Bull. 10: 287–96. PMID 13922644.
  4. Arrowood M, Sterling C (1989). "Comparison of conventional staining methods and monoclonal antibody-based methods for Cryptosporidium oocyst detection". J Clin Microbiol. 27 (7): 1490–5. PMC 267601. PMID 2475523.
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