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Fungal detection

PCR methods for the detection of dermatophyte fungal cultures

The detection of Dermatophyte fungal cultures uses high-sensitivity PCR testing. This reduces the overall turnaround time by up to 3 weeks, and increases the detection of fungal infection compared to combined microscopy and culture. The specific targeting of pathogens associated with superficial fungal infection is also increased, which assists in preventing the over-reporting of insignificant fungi that are contaminants.

Fungal test codes

Investigation of superficial fungal infection



Sample type

Nail, Hair, Skin.


72 hours for interim PCR report, and 7 days for final culture (unless the fungal culture needs to be extended for significant growth).


• Dermatophyte PCR is replacing microscopy for Nails, Hair and Skin (72 hour TAT).

• Non-dermatophyte culture will take 7 days rather than 3 weeks.

• Microscopy will be used to confirm significance of rare fungi that may cause infections. 

• There is no change in the price of this test.


Investigation of non-superficial fungal infection



Sample type

All specimens other than Skin, Hair and Nail.


7 days (non-sterile e.g. ear swab) and 3 weeks (sterile i.e. CSF).


• Non-sterile specimen fungal cultures are performed on Sabouraud’s agar plates for 7 days with no microscopy.

• Sterile specimen fungal cultures have microscopy (Calcafluor) reported on the day of processing and culture on a Sabouraud’s agar slope, incubated for 21 days.