A small sample of a fingernail or toenail may be taken. It may take up to three weeks to get results for this type of culture.
The sample is sent to a laboratory and checked at different time periods to see if bacteria, virus, or fungus has grown. Further tests can be done to identify the specific germ that is causing your problem. This can help your doctor determine the best treatment.
How to prepare for the test
There is no preparation needed for a culture. For information on how to prepare for a skin or mucosal sample, see:
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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