Chapter 12 : Diagnosis and Laboratory Techniques

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The India ink examination is a particularly useful and rapid diagnostic test for cryptococcal meningitis. Although can become fragile, collapse, or be crescentic when dried or fixed, the encapsulated cells are rapidly distinguished in a colored colloidal medium such as India ink when mixed with fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). There are two clinical situations in which cultures of the CSF for identification of viable may be difficult. First, in some cases of chronic cryptococcal meningitis, the lumbar fluid is found to be culture negative. Second, some patients who receive an antifungal treatment course will have positive India ink examinations at the end of therapy despite clinical improvement. Serological tests for the diagnosis of cryptococcosis are one of the true success stories for rapid and accurate diagnosis of fungal infections in the last 30 to 40 years. The popularity of the diagnostic test for cryptococcal polysaccharide antigen is readily apparent when it is noted that there are at least five commercial latex agglutination kits for cryptococcal polysaccharide. DNA and RNA isolation, karyotyping, and DNA transformation techniques are discussed because they are more -specific; most other molecular techniques for working with are standard molecular biology procedures.

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Diagnosis and Laboratory Techniques, p 381-405. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch12
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