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To examine cerebrospinal fluid for organisms with capsules, particularly Cryptococcus neoformans.


India Ink, glass microscope slide, and coverslip.


  1. Lightly centrifuge cerebrospinal fluid to concentrate cells at bottom of tube (1-2 minutes).

  2. Pour off excess fluid (retain if further testing may be necessary).

  3. Take a drop from the bottom of the centrifuge tube and place it in the middle of a glass microscope slide.

  4. Place a drop of India Ink into the specimen drop; gently mix.

  5. Overlay a coverslip.

  6. Examine at ×10 to screen specimen; use ×40 objective to confirm findings.

FIGURE 25.25

India Ink Preparation. Budding yeast with prominent capsule on India Ink preparation from a patient with C neoformans meningitis. (Photo contributor: Seth Wright, MD.)

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