Chapter 8.2 : Specimen Selection, Collection, and Transport

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Suitable specimen selection, proper specimen collection, and rapid specimen transport must be performed to ensure the successful isolation of the etiologic agent of a fungal infection. To establish or confirm the diagnosis of a suspected fungal infection, it is essential for the clinician to provide the laboratory with adequate specimens for evaluation. Also, it is essential for the laboratory to have guidelines for the clinician regarding minimum specimen volumes and appropriate specimen transport (e.g., a laboratory manual or web page). The microbiology laboratory should be notified if an unusual pathogen or an organism that can be a significant laboratory hazard is suspected, because some require special handling or special stains. Examples of unusual fungal and bacterial pathogens, respectively, include spp. (some species require the addition of olive oil to culture media) and spp. (which are more easily detected on a modified acid-fast stain [ section 6]). Examples of potential laboratory hazards include species and Additionally, the microbiology laboratory should be contacted prior to certain procedures, because some specimens for fungal culture may require bedside inoculation onto appropriate culture media (e.g., corneal scrapings).

Citation: Leber A. 2016. Specimen Selection, Collection, and Transport, p 8.2.1-8.2.6. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818814.ch8.2
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1. Land GA, Stringfellow J. 1992. Collection and transport of specimens, p 6.1.1–6.1.5. In Isenberg HD (ed), Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, vol 1. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.
2. Thompson DW, Kaplan W, Phillips BJ. 1977. The effect of freezing and the influence of isolation medium on the recovery of pathogenic fungi from sputum. Mycopathologia 61: 105109.
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6. Berenguer J, Buck M, Witebsky F, Stock F, Pizzo PA, Walsh TJ. 1993. Lysis-centrifugation blood cultures in the detection of tissue-proven invasive candidiasis. Disseminated versus single-organ infection. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 17: 103109.
7. Lyons R, Woods G. 1995. Comparison of the BacT/Alert and ISOLATOR blood culture systems for recovery of fungi. Am J Clin Pathol 103: 660663.
8. Wey S, Colombo A. 1997. Fungal infections of catheters, p 139–154. In Seifert H, Jansen F, Farr BM (ed), Catheter-Related Infections. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.
9. Wilhelmus KR, Liesegang TJ, Osato MS, Jones DB. 1994. Laboratory Diagnosis of Ocular Infections, vol 13A. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.


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Table 8.2–1

Site-specific selection and collection guidelines

Citation: Leber A. 2016. Specimen Selection, Collection, and Transport, p 8.2.1-8.2.6. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818814.ch8.2

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