A fluorescent microscope uses fluorochromes (fluorescent dye) to stain the specimen, e.g., the fluorochrome auramine O glows yellow on exposure to UV light which is strongly absorbed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. The bacterium can be detected as bright yellow organisms against a dark background. Bacillus anthracis causal organism of anthrax, however, appears apple green while stained with another fluorochrome fluorescein isothiocyanate .

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