Intracellular Bacteria

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 147 CE courses, most popular
$95Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50Add to cart
Individual course$20Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Body Fluid Differential Tutorial. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Body Fluid Differential Tutorial (online CE course)
Intracellular Bacteria

When intracellular bacteria are present in a body fluid cytospin, they classically appear within neutrophils (see arrows). When the bacterial burden is high, intracellular bacteria may also be found in monomacrophages.
It is important to note that monomacrophages are less effective bacterial phagocytes than neutrophils; they will never contain intracellular bacteria, if the neutrophils do not contain intracellular bacteria as well. If you think you are seeing bacteria in a monomacrophage and the neutrophils do not contain intracellular bacteria, you may actually be observing granules of hemosiderin. Hemosiderin usually stains more green-blue or black than bacteria on a Wright-stained smear, and the granules are less regular in size than ingested bacteria. It would be helpful to compare the Wright-stained smear to a Gram stain to determine if bacteria are present. It would also be helpful to perform an iron stain to determine if the intracellular elements in the monomacrophages are hemosiderin.