A delay in examining C.S.f reduces the chances of isolating a pathogen.
It will also lead to a falsely low glucose value due to glycolysis. If typanosomes are present, they will not be found because they are rapidly lyzed once the C.S.f has been withdrawn.
Take two sterile, dry, screw-cap containers and label one No 1 (first sample collected, to be used for culture), and the other No 2 (second sample collected, to be used for other investigations).
Collect about 1ml of C.S.f in container No 1 and about 2-3ml in container No2
Deliver immediately the samples with a request form to the laboratory.
Note: It is necessary to culture the C.S.f in the health center because pathogens such as N.meningitidis, H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae, are unlikely to survive transport to the bacteriology laboratory.
If unable to perform a cell count and estimate the protein and glucose, transfer C.S.f sample No 2 to a screw-cap bottle containing sodium fluoride exalate and mix
This will preserve the cells and prevent the breakdown of glucose. Protein can also be estimated from a floride oxalated specimen.
Laboratory examination of C.S.f