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Fungal Culture

Also known as Fungal Culture Blood
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What is this test?

Fungal culture blood is performed on a sample of blood to check for the fungal growth in the blood. This test helps to know whether you have bloodstream fungal infections or not.

What are bloodstream fungal infections?

Fungal organisms are found anywhere in the environment. They exist as two forms yeasts and molds. The fungal organisms that exhibit a temperature-dependent switch between these two forms are known as dimorphic. These organisms can cause infections in individuals with poor immunity.

Candida species are the most common form of yeasts that cause fungal infections. These fungal organisms cause bloodstream infection with involvement of other organs. Cryptococcus species are another form of yeasts which can cause infections especially in individuals with poor immunity. Aspergillus genus members are a form of molds which can cause diseases and can trigger the allergic reactions in many individuals. Rhizopus, Mucor, Rhizomucor etc are other forms of molds that rarely cause infection. Histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, sporotrichosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, and chromoblastomycosis are fungi that are dimorphic in nature. These fungal organisms exist as yeast form in infected individuals (host) and as a mold form in the environment.

Candida species are the fungal organisms that are responsible for the bloodstream fungal infections. The fungal infection due to the Candida species in the blood is known as Candidemia. Candidemia is the most common bloodstream fungal infection and requires immediate medical attention. This infection can develop in individuals who are in a hospital (also called nosocomial infection or hospital acquired infection). This infection can spread from the bloodstream to other major parts of the body such as kidney, liver, brain, etc. It can occur mainly in individuals who have poor immunity.

Candida species, Cryptococcus species, Trichosporon species, Rhodotorula species, Malassezia pachydermatis, Fusarium species, Acremonium species, Paecilomyces species, Purpureocillium species, Scedosporium species, etc are the common fungal organisms that cause bloodstream fungal infections. The main signs and symptoms of Candidemia are fever, chills, flank pain, loss of appetite, redness of the skin, low blood pressure, weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, vision changes, abdominal pain, skin rash, etc.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal growth in the blood. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of Candidemia such as fever, chills, flank pain, loss of appetite, redness of the skin, low blood pressure, weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, vision changes, abdominal pain, skin rash, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for bloodstream fungal infections. However, your doctor may ask to perform a susceptibility testing on the fungi isolated from this culture test to determine the antifungal treatment.

Also known as Fungal Culture and Sensitivity Blood, Fungal Culture and Sensitivity.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fungal Culture. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fungal Culture.

No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors.

If the culture test is positive it may indicate the growth of fungal organisms in the blood. It may indicate the presence of bloodstream fungal infections. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results, along with the physical symptoms to diagnose the exact infection.

If the culture test is negative it means no growth of fungal organisms is detected from the blood sample

Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe growth observed depends on the type of the fungal organism that grows
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