The only culture information available on the day of discharge was that a Gram-variable
rod had grown aerobically on sheep blood agar plates as well as a yeast.
A smear of uneven thickness will result in uneven staining and Gram-variable organisms 
These cells are a good indicator of the success of staining as they usually exhibit a typical speckled Gram-variable pattern.
6) All work with gram-negative or gram-variable
small rods or coccobacilli isolated from tissues, blood, bone marrow, bone, or synovial fluid exudates should be carried out in a biosafety cabinet until Brucella has been ruled out.
Initial isolates from blood cultures of an index patient and two laboratory workers were incorrectly identified as contaminants, in part because of reporting of primary Gram stain results as gram-positive and gram-variable.
After 5 days of incubation, gram-variable coccobacilli, later identified as Brucella spp.
Wadsworth Center staff reviewed the original Gram stain from laboratory worker 1's blood culture specimen and noted gram-variable organisms with similar size and shape to Brucella organisms.
As part of the investigation for the source of infection for laboratory worker 1, this patient's prepared Gram stain slide was referred to the Wadsworth Center, where small, gram-variable cocci were identified.
Overnight aerobic culture grew small gray colonies (<1 mm in diameter) of non-spore-forming gram-variable
bacilli (1 [micro]m x 5 [micro]m), which, on subculture anaerobically grew gram-positive rods with oval, terminal spores.
For the remaining 22 reports of gram-positive bacilli, 16 were identified as Corynebacteriurn, 1 as Proprionobacterium, 1 as Clostridium, 1 as Eubacterium, and 1 as Staphylococcus hominis; 1 was a mixed infection with gram-positive organisms, and 1 was an unidentified motile gram-variable