Mycology specimen collection

A good sample collection technique is crucial in order to get the maximum sensitivity from mycological tests such as culture or direct microscopy. Send as much material as is reasonably possible.

For Candida auris swab collection please refer to the procedure on the CDC website.

Sampling procedures

Sample types

SKIN: Use a sterile scalpel blade to scrape material from the edges of the lesion. You can use a clean piece of paper to transfer them into a sterile universal or Dermapak.

NAILS: Take samples from the affected (discoloured/dystrophic/brittle) part of the nail and try to include any subungual debris.

HAIR : Pluck infected hairs using forceps (it should come out easily) and try to ensure some hair roots are included. Scrape some skin scales using a scalpel blade. Hair cut with scissors is inadequate.

MUCOSAL CANDIDIASIS: Collect samples aseptically from active lesions. Keep moist (or in a transport medium) and store at 4ºC. For further information please see Singh et al (2014)

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