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Under a relatively-high magnification of 1125X, processed using Gutstein's methyl violet staining method, this smallpox smear from a skin lesion of a smallpox patient, revealed the presence of numerous viral particles, or elementary bodies (EBs), throughout the sample, which stain light to dark violet. Gutstein’s method is a simple and quick procedure that allows for the analysis of samples extracted from early papulovesicular skin lesions, in order to determine the presence of EBs that could provide a provisional diagnosis. However, it must be kept in mind that a negative finding is of little importance. In comparative terms, EBs measure approximately 1/4th to 1/5th the size of a staphylococci bacterium.
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