No, Gram stains can not be used to diagnose the flu. First, we must understand that Gram stains work by interacting with the cell walls of bacteria. Gram positive bacteria have thick peptidoglycan in their cell walls, due to which their cells become stained violet after the cell wall retains some of the some of the Gram solution. Gram negative bacteria are unable to retain this solution due to thinner cell walls that lack peptidoglycan. However, the flu is caused by the influenza virus. Viruses do not have a cell wall; they have a protein coat that surrounds them. This means that they can not be tested using the Gram stain test.
Provide information regarding microbial size, shape, motility, and differentiation of the following preparations: spore stain, negative stain, simple stain, hanging drop slide, and Gram stain. Could the Gram stain be used to diagnose the flu? Why or why not?