Fungus Culture – Subcutaneous infections/Tissues

(Sporotrichosis Serology is not available through PHO Public Health Laboratories)


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 ulcers,  biopsy/autopsy materials, surgically collected sinus wall scrapings, tissue


Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


If insufficient sample is received, culture only will be done.


For skin ulcers, biopsies are preferable to swabs since the presence of fungal elements within tissues is a diagnosis of invasive disease. The biopsy should be taken near the periphery of the lesion and should include enough tissue for culture. Swabs are discouraged.

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 where possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Fungus culture is set up daily Monday to Friday.

Turnaround Time for microscopy: 1 day from receipt by PHO laboratory

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

Identification of isolates: dependent on organism(s)

Test Methods

Fungus culture: includes fungal culture and fungal microscopy.

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

Microscopy uses calcofluor white Stain.

Fungal culture identification uses various methods, including microscopic morphology, biochemical reactions, and growth temperature and culture characteristics. Molecular methods are used when needed.


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

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Laboratory Services

Updated 20 July 2020