Fungus Culture – Superficial

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Fungus culture

Any of: skin scrapings, nail scrapings / clippings, Hair (root ends)

Sufficient sample must be received on the black paper for both culture and microscopy to be performed.

Fungus culture kit (superficial / dermatophyte) order#: 390048

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Place specimen in a biohazard bag and seal. Store specimen at room temperature. Specimens should be shipped to the PHO laboratory ASAP where possible.

Special Instructions

Follow the instructions found in the Fungus Culture Kit Instruction sheet.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

The Fungus culture test is done daily Monday to Friday.

Turnaround Time for microscopy: 4 day.

Turnaround time for identification of yeast: up to 3 days.

Turnaround Time for culture: up to 15 days (for negative result)

Identification of isolates: dependent on organism(s)

Test Methods

Specimens are set up for culture and examined by microscopy for dermatophytes, yeast and non-dermatophytic mould pathogens of keratinized tissue. 

Identification of fungal isolates from culture is performed using methods including microscopic morphology, biochemical reactions, and growth temperature and culture characteristics. Molecular methods will be used if necessary.

Microscopy uses Calcofluor White Stain. 

Yeast identification and reporting is not routine, unless the microscopy is positive for yeast. 

Likewise if a non-dermatophytic filamentous fungus is isolated from a smear-negative specimen, it will be reported as “filamentous fungi isolated-not normally pathogenic.”


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

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Updated 20 July 2020