This stain is used on CSF, urine and other bodily fluids to visualize encapsulated microorganisms, such as Cryptococcus neoformans. The polysaccharide capsule refracts the ink causing the capsule to appear like a clear halo around the organism (Fig 2.1).
Figure 2.1 India ink preparation of cerebrospinal fluid from a patient with cryptococcal meningitis, showing a budding yeast cell of C. neoformans surrounded by a characteristic wide gelatinous capsule. © Kaminski’s digital image library of medical mycology.
Table 1.1 Advantages and disadvantages of India Ink