Spores of fungus, Candida albicans

The long strands are the tubular filaments (hyphae) that have developed from the fungal spores. Yeast cells (rounded, yellow) are budding from the ends of the hyphae (red). Candida albicans causes the infection known as candidiasis which affects the moist mucous membranes of the body, such as skin folds, mouth, respiratory tract and vagina. Oral and vaginal conditions are known as thrush.

More about fungi

Spillage management


Spillages of cultures must be reported immediately to the teacher or technician to be dealt with quickly. The keeping of a record of all incidents is recommended. Spilled cultures and surrounding debris (e.g. glass, cotton wool plugs), if any, must not be touched with unprotected hands. Wearing disposable gloves, disinfect the area by covering the spill with several layers of paper towel/cloth soaked in a suitable disinfectant and leave for 15-30 minutes. Spill debris should then be swept into a dustpan using paper towels. All disposable material should then be transferred to a suitable container, e.g. an autoclave/roasting bag, for autoclaving and disposal. The dustpan must be decontaminated either by autoclaving or by soaking (at least 24 hours) in hypochlorite (sodium chloride I).

Broken glass

Observe an appropriate disposal procedure for broken glass if present. It should be swept carefully into a suitable container, autoclaved and disposed of in a puncture proof container.

Splashes on clothing and skin

Contaminated clothing should be soaked in disinfectant. Splashes on the skin should be treated as soon as possible; washing thoroughly with soap and hot water should be sufficient, but if necessary the skin can be disinfected.

Back to top