Specimen Requirements


Culture, Fungus (Mycology)

Specimen Requirement

Preferred Specimens:
Biopsy, blood, body fluid, aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), swab of conjunctiva, skin, nails, hair, sputum, stool, throat, tissue, urine or vaginal

Collection container:
Sterile container for fluid or tissue or green-top (sodium heparin) tube, blood culture bottle, Para-Pak White for stool

Collection instructions:
Biopsy: Surgical specimen in sterile container. A small amount of sterile nonbacteriostatic water should be added to prevent drying.

Body fluid, aspirates: Aspirated material in sterile container.

Eye: For keratitis, scrapings with a Kimura spatula directly inoculated using “C” streaks are best.

Skin: Cleanse the area with 70% alcohol and collect a portion from the active border of the lesion.

Nails: For all types of onychomycosis, clean the nail area well with 70% alcohol, then, depending on type of nail disease, collect the following in a sterile container:

• Distal subungual: Clip the abnormal nail as close to the proximal edge as possible. Scrape the nail bed and underside of nail plate with a curet. Discard the outermost debris, which likely contains contaminants. Nail clippings are less desirable for culture.

• Proximal subungual: Pare down the normal surface of nail plate in the area of the lunula. Collect white material from the deeper portion of plate.

• White superficial: Scrape the white spots, discarding the outermost surface, which likely contains contaminants. Collect the white areas directly underneath.

• Candida infection: Collect material closest to the proximal and lateral nail edges.

Hair: Epilate 10 to 12 hairs and place them in a sterile container.

Stool: Random sample in sterile container.

Swabs: Throat, nose, nasopharynx, and ear swabs are acceptable; material from the ear is better than a swab.

Urine: Clean catch midstream sample in sterile container.

Wound: Aspirate of purulent material or fluid, scraping of lesion border, or swab (least preferred) in sterile container. Swabs cannot be split for other tests.




Room temp: 72 hours

Reference Range

By Report*


30-42 days

Clinical Use

Isolate and identify fungi. Blood: establish the diagnosis of fungal infections including fungemia, fungal endocarditis, and disseminated mycosis in patients at risk for fungal infections.

Test Code