Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Nail


Fungal Culture Nail

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What is this test?

Fungal culture nail is performed on the collected sample of nail fragments under the infected nail to check for the fungal growth on it. This test helps to know whether you have fungal nail infections or not.

What are fungal nail 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.

Fungal nail infections are infections of the fingernails or toenails and termed as onychomycosis. These infections cause cracked, thicker than normal, discolored, and painful. Infections of the toenails are more common than fingernails. Because feet are more likely to get exposed to fungal infections. The small cracks or cut in the nails allows the entry of fungal organisms and cause infection. Individuals with a poor immune system, diabetes or other existing fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot (a fungal infection that affects the foot) are more prone to get fungal nail infections.

Dermatophyte fungi, Neoscytalidium dimidiatum/ hyalinum, Scopulariopsis species, Fusarium species, Aspergillus species, Acremonium species, etc are the common fungal organisms that cause skin fungal infections. The signs and symptoms of fungal nail infections are white spots on the nails, yellow, green or brown colored nail, thicker or thinner nails than normal, brittle or broken nails, bad smelled and painful nails, etc.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal growth on the nails. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of tissue fungal nail infections such as white spots on the nails, yellow, green or brown colored nail, thicker or thinner nails than normal, brittle or broken nails, bad smelled and painful nails, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for fungal nail 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 Nail.

Test Preparation

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

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 on the nail. It may indicate the presence of fungal nail 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 nail 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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