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Capsule stain

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Capsule composition

Composed of mucoid polysaccharides or polypeptides they repel most stains


How does the capsule technique take advantage of the capsule composition?

By staining around the cells


What stains (2) are used with capsule staining?

1. Acidic stain such as Congo red or nigrosin (stains background)
2. Basic Maneval's stain (stains the cell proper)

The capsule remains unstained and appears as a white halo between the cells and the colored background


Why are cells in a capsule stain not heat fixed?

Heat fixing causes the cells to shrink, leaving and artificial white halo around them that might be interpreted as a capsule


Describe capsule stain technique

This technique begins as negative stain, cells are spread as a film with an acidic stain and aren't heat fixed. In place of heat fixing cells may be emulsified in a drop of serum to promote their adhering to the glass slide


What type of stain is the capsule stain?

Differential stain


What's the purpose of the capsule?

The capsule production increases virulence in the microbes by making them less vulnerable to phagocytosis

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