Fungal Culture, Routine
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Many fungi in the environment cause disease in severely compromised human hosts. Accordingly, the range of potential pathogenic fungi has increased as the number of immunosuppressed individuals (eg, persons with AIDS, patients receiving chemotherapy, or transplant rejection therapy) has increased.
Few fungal diseases can be diagnosed clinically; many are diagnosed by isolating and identifying the infecting fungus in the clinical laboratory.
Diagnosing fungal infections from specimens other than blood, skin, hair, nail, and vagina (separate tests are available for these specimen sites)
Positive cultures of filamentous fungi are reported with the organism identification.
Positive respiratory cultures (with the exception of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid) of yeast are reported as "yeast not Cryptococcus neoformans" or reported with organism identification of Cryptococcus neoformans or Cryptococcus gattii.
Positive cultures of yeast from sterile body fluid, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, tissue, and urine are reported with organism identification. Positive cultures of yeast from stool are reported as "yeast."
The clinician must determine whether or not the presence of an organism is significant. A final negative report is issued after 24 days of incubation.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
For optimal recovery of organisms, sufficient specimen should be transported within 24 hours of collection.
Fungi can be pathogens, colonizers, or contaminants. Correlation of the patient clinical condition with culture results is necessary for optimal patient care.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
If positive, fungus will be identified.
Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
Shea YR: Algorithms for detection and identification of fungi. In Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 9th edition. Edited by PR Murray, EJ Baron. Washington DC. ASM Press, 2007, pp 1745-1761