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The mycology laboratory at TDSHSreceives referred cultures of yeast, mold, and aerobic actinomycetesfrom other laboratories for identification. Identification of mycologycultures is based upon macroscopic and microscopic morphology andcharacteristics as well as reactions to a panel of biochemical tests.Identification of most molds relies heavily on microscopic morphology.Yeast identification relies on biochemical reactions as well asmicroscopic characteristics. Turnaround time for most referred culturesranges from two weeks up to four weeks, depending upon the number oftests required for identification.
Aerobic actinomycete cultures aresubcultured to a panel of biochemical tests that requires three weeksto result. All aerobic actinomycetes are analyzed by high performanceliquid chromatography (HPLC). The HPLC test on aerobic actinomycetesindicates whether an organism produces mycolic acids, such as Nocardia species. The HPLC is not species specific but is often useful as an aid to determine the correct genus of the organism.
The genetic probe test utilized for Mycobacteriumspecies is also utilized for three systemic fungi. It is the same testdescribed under Genetic Probes. The three systemic fungi identified bythe genetic probe test are Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces dermatitidis. Fungal cultures can be submitted for identification on solid media intightly capped tubes. Shipping plated medium supporting growth ofmolds is highly discouraged.