Mycology Culture and Microscopy (Bacteriology)
Infection by dermatophytes is cutaneous and generally restricted
to the non-living cornified layers in patients who are
immunocompetent. This is because the dermatophyte group of fungi
are generally unable to penetrate tissues which are not fully
keratinised (ie deeper tissues and organs). However, reactions to
such infections can range from mild to severe, depending upon the
host's immune response, the virulence of the infecting species, the
site of infection and environmental factors.
Collection container (including preservatives):
Specimens received in sterile containers in sealed plastic
Dermapak collection kits are available from the Microbiology
Specimen type: Hair, Skin, Nails
Collection: Specimens should be collected into
folded paper square Dermapak collection kits secured and placed in
a plastic bag designed specifically for the collection and
transport of skin, nail and hair samples.
Skin scrapings and plucked hairs are the ideal specimens for
diagnosing scalp infections, but in addition a sterile disposable
toothbrush can be used for the collection of samples. These should
be transported to the laboratory in a sterile plastic receptacle.
If sufficiently long, hairs should be plucked with forceps and
wrapped in black paper or commercial transport packs together with
flakes of skin.
Specimen transport: Specimens should be kept at
room temperature, and transported and processed as soon as
Samples should be allowed to dry out and kept at room
temperature. Provided the samples are kept dry, the fungus will
remain viable for several months.
Minimum volume of sample: Not applicable
Special precautions: None known
Measurement units: Not applicable
Turnaround time: Culture up to 3 weeks
Microscopy 24 -48 hrs
Clinical decision points: Clinical advice on
Mycology results is available by contacting the laboratory.