Adoption of PCR methods for the detection of dermatophyte fungal cultures

The detection of Dermatophyte fungal cultures has now evolved to using High Sensitivity PCR testing, replacing the Mycoline slide culture method. This reduces the overall turnaround time by up to three weeks, and increases the detection of fungal infection compared to combined microscopy and culture. Furthermore the specific targeting pathogens associated with superficial fungal infection is increased which assists in preventing the over reporting of insignificant fungi that are contaminants.

New fungal test codes

Investigation of Superficial Fungal Infection

Test Code

Sample Type

Turnaround time

Notes

DERM*

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.


*Please add the codes DERM and FUN to your practice system’s test menu if you request electronically.

Investigation of Non-Superficial Fungal Infection

Investigation of Superficial Fungal Infection

Test Code

Sample Type

Turnaround time

Notes

FUN*

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.


*Please add the codes DERM and FUN to your practice system’s test menu if you request electronically.