Lab Test

Stain, Fungus

Athlete's Foot, Tinea, Ringworm, Fungus, Mold, Fungal Smear, KOH

Test Codes




Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Fungus sample using aseptic technique. Specific collection instructions for each specimen type are listed below. Please see the Specimen Collection Manual for help with the collection of specimens.

  • Bronchoscopy specimens [Bronchial brushings, biopsies, bronchial washes, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)]: Specimens must be placed in a sterile collection container.
  • Pus, exudates, drainage, and miliary abscesses: Aspirate material from undrained abscesses. Place material in a sterile collection container.
  • Hair: Select infected area; clean with 70% alcohol and epilate at least 10 hairs with base shafts attached. Place hairs into a sterile collection container, or in a sealed Petri dish without media, if available.
  • 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 collection container, or in a sealed Petri dish without media, if available.
  • 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 collection container, or in a sealed Petri dish without media, if available.
  • Sputum: Collect approximately 5-10 mL of an early morning specimen and place into a sterile collection container.
  • Tissue: Collect tissue aseptically from center and edge of lesion. Place specimen in a sterile collection container. Add 0.5 mL sterile, non-bacteriostatic saline to the container.
  • Urine: Collect the first early morning, clean-catch, midstream specimen, collected into a Gray-top Boric Acid urine transport tube (yellow-top).
  • Vaginal material: For detection of yeast vaginitis, collect material from the vagina and place swabs into an Affirm transport tube. If specific identity of yeast is required, submit swab of vaginal secretions in Amies transport medium.

Transport all specimens to the Laboratory immediately after collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Arrange for transport to the Laboratory prior to specimen collection. All specimen types can be maintained 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: All specimen types, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Swabs for any specimen not already defined, or swabs not in an approved commercial Amies transport system.
  • Clippings of hair. Base shafts are needed.
  • Unlabeled specimens.
  • Insufficient volume.
  • 24 hour sputum or urine samples.

Inpatient Specimen Preparation

Transport specimen to the Laboratory immediately after collection.


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:

Specimens are stored a minimum of 7 days, depending on specimen source.


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 organism seen.

Test Methodology


Clinical Utility

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


  1. Barton, R.C., and H.R. Ashbee, 2016, Microscopic Clinical Specimen Examination, Leber, A.L., (eds.)., et al. . Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. ASM Press. Washington, D.C.

CPT Codes



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