Stain, Negative (India Ink)

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Fungal infections are common in people with weak immune systems. Testing for the same using India Ink is an old yet effective method. It is used to detect infections of the Central Nervous System and to avoid future complications.

What is Stain Negative (India Ink)?

Stain Negative (India Ink) is a staining method used to test for a capsule in case of an infection. It is most commonly used to diagnose Cryptococcus[1], which is a fungus that may cause meningitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain) or Pneumonia. This infection is rare in individuals with healthy immune systems, and it needs a weak immune system to infect.



Why is Stain Negative (India Ink) suggested?

Stain Negative (India Ink) is suggested if you have the following symptoms:

  • Headache with neck stiffness
  • High fever (101°F and above)
  • General weakness and body ache

How is Stain Negative (India Ink) performed?[1]

Stain Negative (India Ink) testing consists of the following procedures:

  • Taking of a sample, which is usually the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) which surrounds your brain.
  • Testing involves staining the sample with a black dye and observing it under the microscope.



What are the parameters measured in Stain Negative (India Ink)?

In Stain Negative (India Ink) testing involves the following findings:

  • Positive: Presence of capsulated organisms.
  • Negative: Absence of said organisms

Preparation before performing Stain Negative (India Ink)

The test is simple and requires no prior preparation.

Post-care after Stain Negative (India Ink)

Since fluid from the brain and blood is extracted it is suggested that the Patient lies down on one side with the leg end raised.

Sample types in Stain Negative (India Ink)

Stain Negative (India Ink) testing requires taking a Cerebrospinal Fluid sample or a blood sample which is taken in a leakproof container, and further processing occurs in the laboratory.

Side effects/ risks of Stain Negative (India Ink)

There are no risks associated with Stain Negative (India Ink) testing, however, it is common to feel a little light headed post-testing.

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