Lab Test

Culture, Fungus, Hair, Skin, and Nails

Athlete's Foot, Tinea, Ringworm, Fungus, Mold, Mould, Fungal Culture, Fungus Culture

Test Codes





If the specimen source is blood, or a source other than hair, skin, or nails, please see Culture, Fungus, Blood or Culture, Fungus, Routine.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Hair, skin, or nail sample, aseptically collected, in a sterile collection container or Petri dish.

  • Hair: Select infected area; clean with 70% alcohol and epilate at least 10 hairs with base shafts attached. Place hairs into a sterile, screw-capped container or in a Petri dish. Securely tape the Petri dish closed.
  • Nail: For the dorsal plate, scrape the outer surface and discard the scrapings, then scrape the deeper portion for a suitable specimen. Portions of debris from under the nail can be obtained with a scalpel. Whole nails or clippings can be obtained as well. Place clippings or scrapings into a sterile, screw-capped container or in a Petri dish. Securely tape the Petri dish closed.
  • Skin and Interspaces: Clean lesions and interspaces between the toes with 70% alcohol. Scrape the entire lesion(s) and both sides of the interspaces with a sterile scalpel. Place the scrapings into a sterile, screw-capped container or in a Petri dish. Securely tape the Petri dish closed.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to transport. Avoid extremely high or low temperatures.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Hair, skin, or nail specimen in a sterile collection container or Petri dish, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens submitted on swabs.
  • Clippings of hair. Base shafts are needed.
  • Nails covered in nail polish.
  • Unlabeled specimens.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 8 hours
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 7 days


Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory
Taylor, Trenton and Wayne sent to Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory for testing.

Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Troy sent to Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory for testing.



Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Preliminary results available within 72 hours.

Reference Range

No growth.

Test Methodology

Fungal culture, microscopy, and biochemical tests for identification of organisms.

Clinical Utility

Identification of fungi in clinical specimens may aid the physician in diagnosing and treating a patient.


  1. Koneman's Color Atlas and Textbook of Diagnositic Microbiology. 6th Edition, pg. 1159 and 1161. 2006.
  2. Hazen, K.C. and S.A. Howell, 2016. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, 4rd Edition. ASM Press. Washington, D.C. Section 8.

CPT Codes

87101, 87102, or 87103, dependent on source.
LOINC:  580-1


Last Updated


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