To examine cerebrospinal fluid for organisms with capsules, particularly Cryptococcus neoformans.
India Ink, glass microscope slide, and coverslip.
Lightly centrifuge cerebrospinal fluid to concentrate cells at bottom of tube (1-2 minutes).
Pour off excess fluid (retain if further testing may be necessary).
Take a drop from the bottom of the centrifuge tube and place it in the middle of a glass microscope slide.
Place a drop of India Ink into the specimen drop; gently mix.
Overlay a coverslip.
Examine at ×10 to screen specimen; use ×40 objective to confirm findings.
India Ink Preparation. Budding yeast with prominent capsule on India Ink preparation from a patient with C neoformans meningitis. (Photo contributor: Seth Wright, MD.)