Laboratory: Clinical Microbiology
Test Name:
Test Code: DERM
Clinical Information:
Test Indications:
An aid in the diagnosis of dermatophytosis or dermatophytosis-like infections.
Fungal infections of keratinized tissues (hair, skin, nails) can be caused by dermatophytic fungi belonging to the genera Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton. Dermatophytes are usually unable to penetrate deeper tissues. Infection may range from mild to severe. A single positive culture may represent contamination. Isolation of the same pathogen from repeat specimens is more likely to represent true infection. Clinical correlation is required.
Nail and skin infections resembling dermatophytoses may also be caused by Candida spp. and nail infections occasionally by non-dermatophytic moulds belonging to the genera Aspergillus, Fusarium, Alternaria, Acremonium, Neoscytalydium, Scopulariopsis, Onychocola, and Curvularia.

- Never refrigerate the specimen.
- Do not submit specimen on glass slide.
- Indicate any recent antifungal therapy on requisition.
- Samples and requisitions must be labeled/completed in accordance with the Shared Health Specimen Acceptance Policy.
- Accurate patient identification must be made prior to sample collection. Patient identification should be done in accordance with the site policy.

Patient Preparation Instructions:
Specimen type:  Skin
1.  Cleanse the affected area with 70% alcohol.
2.  Gently scrape (with dull edge of scalpel or with a glass slide) the surface of the skin at the active margin of the lesion, being careful to not draw blood.
3.  Place sample in a clean container or on a black glassine paper which should then be placed into a clean container.
Specimen Type:  Nails
1.  Wipe the nail with 70% alcohol using gauze (not cotton).
2.  Nail specimens must be scraped or clipped from side of infection (e.g., nail bed). Clip a portion of the side of infection (e.g., nail bed) or collect material by scraping deeply enough to obtain recently invaded nail tissue.
3.  Place material in sterile container, dry paper envelope or folded black paper.
Specimen Type:  Hair
1.  Using forceps collect approximately 10-12 affected hairs with shaft intact (hair rood is important for good culture results).
2.  Place hairs in sterile container and submit or using a new soft bristle toothbrush, rub affected area to collect hair and scale; submit brush.
Collection Devices:
Alternate Device: Clean, dry paper envelope.
Specimen Required: Skin scrapings, nail scrapings or clippings, or depilated hair. (Adult and Pediatric)

Ensure samples that are being sent to a referral laboratory are packaged in accordance with Transport of Dangerous Goods recommendations for diagnostic samples.
Reference Values:
No fungus isolated OR Non-dermatophytic fungi isolated suggestive of contamination.
Test result reporting:
- Wet mount preparation results available same day.
- A preliminary report will be sent as necessary.
- Dermatophytes and Candida spp. or mould causing dermatophyte-like nail infections are reported when identified.
- Growth of environmental fungi is reported as “Non-dermatophytic fungi isolated suggestive of contamination”.
- Final report issued after 4 weeks.
See Also:
More Information:
Specimen Handling:
Local: ≤24 hrs, store at room temperature.
Courier/local storage: ≤48 hrs, store at room temperature