Culture Collections

Frequently Asked Questions: Fungi

 

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How will I receive my order?

NCPF cultures are supplied as either freeze-dried (lyophilised) cultures, sealed under vacuum into glass ampoules; or as growing cultures supplied on agar slopes. Most yeast isolates will be provided as freeze-dried ampoules but many of the moulds will be supplied as growing slopes. The Culture Collections can advise you in which format your order will be supplied.

 

How long will my order take to process?

If cultures are available as freeze-dried ampoules then orders can be processed and shipped within a few days. However, if all or part of the order is for an isolate not available as a freeze-dried ampoule then the process involves reviving and growing the isolate on an agar slope and then verifying the identification and checking for purity which may take two weeks or more depending on the growth rate of the organism and its propensity to form spores.

 

How should I store the sample I receive?

If you are not ready to begin culturing the strain(s) you receive, then these can be stored at room temperature. Growing slopes should remain viable for several weeks, often much longer provided the slopes do not dry out, whilst freeze-dried ampoules should remain viable for years. Some strains, particularly some dermatophyte species, will not survive in the fridge.

 

How should I open the glass ampoule and resuscitate the Freeze dried culture?

The ampoule should be resuscitated according to the information available from our website   

How to open an NCPF glass ampoule and reconstitute freeze-dried fungi

 

What agar should I use to culture the strain?

The most useful and widely employed mycological agar is glucose-peptone agar (Sabouraud’s agar). There are many commercial suppliers of ready-poured plates, many containing chloramphenicol to prevent bacterial overgrowth and either with or without actidione (chlorheximide) to prevent mould contamination, or powders from which to prepare your own agar. NB The growth of many yeast species and most non-dermatophyte moulds will be inhibited by actidione, such plates are really intended for the primary isolation of dermatophyte species from clinical samples.

Plates should usually be incubated at a maximum of 30°C for dermatophyte and environmental mould isolates and 35° - 37°C for yeast. Many yeast and some of the opportunistic pathogenic moulds will grow faster at 37°C or sometimes even higher depending on the strain and species.

For growth of many Malassezia species a specialist lipid-rich medium will be necessary, or alternatively the surface of the plate should be wiped with a swab dipped in olive oil before inoculation of the organism.

For any of the strains sent as freeze-dried cultures, even if only one or two colonies grow from an ampoule that will be sufficient to further propagate your own cultures of the strain.

 

Where can I obtain the ampoule openers which appear in the instructions/video?

Please contact Culture Collections Technical Support to request an ampoule opener.

 

What should I do if the culture fails to grow?

In the event you are having problems culturing the organism, please contact Culture Collections Technical Support.

 

How can I find information about the BSL of the strain and the recommended safe handling of the strain in my laboratory?

Please don’t order strains of fungi if your laboratory is not used to handling them. Information on the Hazard Group classifications can be found on the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) Approved List of Biological Agents.

 

Still have a question? Contact our technical team:

Email: culturecollections.technical@phe.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1980 612684

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