In the usual diagnosis of dermatophytosis ("athlete's foot") scrapings from lesions are examined microscopically for the presence of fungi and inoculated into suitable medium for isolation of suspected strains. The finding of fungi depends largely on proper selection of material. Frequently material loaded with mycelia and spores may not yield a growth of fungi on the planted medium owing to overgrowth of bacterial contamination. To overcome such difficulty, it was found that plain Sabouraud dextrose-peptone medium containing 0.0002 per cent (1: 500,000) gentian violet inhibited the growth of the usual bacterial flora of the skin without hindering the growth of pathogenic molds.
Records of a New York mycologic clinic1 indicated that in approximately 25 per cent of clinical cases of fungous lesions the diagnosis was confirmed by microscopic examination and that in only 50 to 60 per cent of the cases in which the diagnosis was microscopically proved were
EPSTEIN SS, DEE SNELL F. GENTIAN VIOLET IN SABOURAUD'S MEDIUM FOR ISOLATION OF PATHOGENIC FUNGI. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;42(2):308–311. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490140072014
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