Full form of AFB is Acid-Fast Bacilli

The Full form of AFB is Acid-Fast Bacilli. AFB is a physical property of certain eukaryotic and bacterial cells, as well as some sub-cellular structures, specifically their resistance to decolorization by acids during laboratory staining procedures. Once stained as part of a sample, these organisms can resist the acid and/or ethanol-based decolorization procedures common in many staining protocols, hence the name acid-fast. The mechanisms of AFB vary by species, although the most well-known example is in the genus Mycobacterium, which includes the species responsible for leprosy and tuberculosis. The acid-fastness of Mycobacteria is due to the high mycolic acid content of their cell walls, which is responsible for the staining pattern of poor absorption followed by high retention. Some bacteria may also be partially acid-fast, such as Nocardia. Acid-fast organisms are difficult to characterize using standard microbiological techniques, though they can be stained using concentrated dyes, particularly when the staining process is combined with heat. Some, such as Mycobacteria, can be stained with the Gram stain, but they do not take the crystal violet well and thus appear light purple, which can still potentially result in an incorrect gram positive identification.