Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Csf


Fungal Culture Csf

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What is this test?

Fungal culture cerebrospinal fluid is performed on a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to check for the fungal growth in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF- a fluid found in the brain and spinal cord). This test helps to know whether you have a fungal infection affecting the brain and spinal cord.

What are the CSF 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.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a liquid found in the brain and spinal cord. It is clear, watery liquid that protects the brain and spinal cord. CSF is produced and secreted by the cells called choroid plexus in the ventricles (chambers) of the brain. Normally 500 ml of CSF are produced each day, circulated and then absorbed into the blood. Variety of conditions and diseases can affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Infections are one condition amongst that. CSF infections can be due to bacterial or fungal infection. This test helps to determine whether the infection is due to fungus or not.

CSF fungal infections are less common and mainly affects the individuals with poor immunity. Signs and symptoms of CSF fungal infections are fever, chills, cough, stiff muscles and neck, trouble breathing, headaches, nausea, etc. Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Coccidioides immitis, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Sporothrix schenckii, members of the order Mucorales, etc are the common fungal organisms that cause CSF fungal infections.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal growth (mycoses) in the cerebrospinal fluid. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of CSF fungal infection such as fever, chills, cough, stiff muscles and neck, trouble breathing, headaches, nausea, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for CSF 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 CSF.

Test Preparation

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

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 such as isolates of Candida species, Aspergillus species, Cryptococcus species, or any other fungal organisms in the CSF fluid. It may indicate the presence of CSF 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 CSF fluid.

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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