Microbiology Test

Skin fungus culture

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Apr 29, 2014
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Test : Skin fungus culture

Indications : The test is ordered for the following reasons:

Fungal infection is suspected in the skin, nails or hair

Skin rash, sore or ulcer is present

Skin scrapings, exudates, hair, nail clippings, whole nail, hair and debris under nail form the samples for the test. A cotton swab may be used to collect a skin sample from a rash or wound on the skin. Sometimes a small skin sample is taken for the culture. No prior preparation is required.

The sample is streaked onto a culture dish containing appropriate growth medium that promotes fungal growth. It may take a few days to grow in culture before diagnosis can be established.

Physiology : Skin fungus culture is a laboratory test that is carried out to diagnose skin infections caused by fungi. The kingdom of fungi include microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, and are abundant worldwide.

Most fungal infections begin on the skin or in the lungs. Fungus such as Candida sp, may colonize skin. Signs of Candida infection include bright erythema, fragile papulopustules, and satellite lesions. Fungal infections occur when a person has a weak immune system, or when on antibiotics.

Anti-fungal medications can be applied directly on the affected area. In serious cases, medications may have to be taken orally.

Normal Range : No growth

Interpretation : Normal

Negative - Only normal flora seen. No fungal growth from the skin sample observed

Abnormal

Positive - Fungal growth observed in culture indicating any of the following:

Superficial mycoses - Piedra, Tinea nigra, Tinea versicolor

Dermatomycoses - Oncyhomycosis, Tinea captis, Tinea corporis, Tinea pedis, Tinea cruris

Candididasis - Thrush, Diaper dermatitis, Paroncyhia, Congenital candidiasis, mucocutaneous candididasis.

Sample : Skin scrapings, exudates, nail clippings, whole nail, debris, under nail, hair.

Test Method : Aerobic culture on selective media.



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