Fungal Nail Infections

Written by: Solaris Diagnostics

Fungal nail infections are common infections caused by the overgrowth of fungi which disrupt the environment of the toenail or fingernail through small cracks in the nail or surrounding skin. These pathogens can cause the nail to appear discolored (yellow, brown, or white), fragile or cracked, thickened, and even distorted in shape. According to the CDC,  anyone can get a fungal nail infection. Older adults and patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, weakened immune system, blood circulation problems, and athletes’ foot are more susceptible.

First described by Georg Meissner in 1853, the technical name for a fungal nail infection is “onychomycosis”. Typically, clinical diagnosis uses conventional methods such as microscopy or culturing. But the accuracy of the diagnosis is important. Solaris Diagnostics utilizes qPCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) analysis to improve the sensitivity and specificity of detecting fungi in patients suspected of onychomycosis for a successful treatment.

Using chemical and mechanical disruption, DNA can be extracted and purified from nail clippings or scrapings. Once isolated, fluorescently tagged primer-probes target species-specific nucleic acid sequences for in vitro quantitative detection. qPCR’s unique toolkit uses a thermocycler to produce a measurable fluorescent signal that builds a sigmoidal amplification curve, indicative that a pathogen is present.

This type of testing greatly improves the efficiency for specific detection and diagnosis versus using traditional cultures. Solaris Diagnostics laboratory can provide detection of potential nail fungal pathogens with a turnaround time (TAT) of 24 hours from the time the sample is received in the laboratory. Our advanced molecular testing provides fast, definitive results leading to effective treatments of fungal nail infections.

Share this Article

Recent Articles

Haemophilus Influenzae

  Haemophilus influenzae is the name for any illnesses caused by the bacteria H. influenzae, the most common type of Haemophilus influenzae is Haemophilus influenzae

Read More »

Coxiella Burnetii

  Coxiella burnetii is a bacterium isolated from ticks. It is a gram-negative bacterium which causes an infection called Q fever that infects the respiratory

Read More »

Chlamydia Trachomatis

  Chlamydia Trachomatis is one of the more common sexually transmitted infections. The bacterial infection has a higher prevalence in populations aged 15-24, with women

Read More »


Antibiotic resistance is a serious topic in the medical community, as new drugs are developed and used for the treatment of infections these bacteria have

Read More »

Need a Reliable Diagnostic Partner?

At Solaris Diagnostics, we make it easy!

Our Results Portal allows you access patient reports quickly and securely online.

To request access to the Providers Results Portal, please complete our Provider Registration form.

Scroll to Top