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J Lab Med Qual Assur. 2016 Sep;38(3):143-150. Korean. Original Article.
Lee S , Yu GG , Park KH , Lee SY , Jekarl DW , Yoon NS , Kim MN .
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the current status of fungal cultures and the identification tests used by diagnostic laboratories in Korea. METHODS: From 22 October to 30 November 2013, we surveyed 76 laboratories, participating in the regular proficiency survey program of The Korean Association of Quality Assurance for Clinical Laboratory, with a questionnaire on fungal cultures and their identification tests. In March 2014, five mold were distributed to ninety-one participating laboratories, as an educational challenge. RESULTS: Fifty-six (73.7%) out of seventy-six laboratories replied to the survey questionnaire. Yeast was identified using commercial kits in all laboratories and to species level in 82.1% of the laboratories, whereas moulds were mainly identified by morphological examinations, to species level in 41.1% of the laboratories. The response rate to the five proficiency specimens was 67.0%–71.1%. The percentage of correctly identified dermatophytes was lower than that of Aspergillus species. CONCLUSIONS: An improvement is required in the mould culturing and identification techniques used in diagnostic laboratories in Korea.

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