Fungal Infections – External Ear

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

Material collected from ear canal


Collect material using a curette or dry swab or swab in charcoal or Amies transport media.

Submission and Collection Notes


For curetted specimens, place material from the ear canal into a sterile container.

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 lab ASAP after collection when possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

The Fungus culture test is done daily Monday to Friday.

Turnaround Time for microscopy:  1 day

Turnaround Time for culture: up to 28 days (for negative result)

Identification of isolates: dependent on organism(s)

Test Methods

Fungal Culture for filamentous fungi and yeast:

  • 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 when needed.


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

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Updated 20 July 2020