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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions



How will PT shipments arrive in my laboratory?

Proficiency test samples are shipped using United Parcel Service (UPS). The laboratory is required to notify the section within five days of shipment that samples have not arrived or are unacceptable for testing.

Are replacement PT specimens available?

The laboratory may request replacement samples under circumstances where in routine laboratory practice the recourse in patient testing is to collect additional specimens, e.g., laboratory accident or instrument failure. Replacement samples will be provided up to five business days from the shipment date.

What is the Mycology PT master list?

The organisms listed in the master lists (Molds and Yeasts) are commonly used in the proficiency test event.

Why are educational specimens sent?

Educational specimens are sent to educate laboratory personnel about less common fungal pathogens. These specimens may be used in future PT events.

Where do the specimens come from?

The proficiency test samples are prepared by Wadsworth Center staff from clinical and reference fungal strains available in the collection. Cryptococcus neoformans antigen samples are prepared and standardized according to published methods.

Is the laboratory required to identify organisms irrespective of the anatomic site?

No, there are certain laboratories that process specimens from specific anatomic sites like blood, CSF, etc. They are not required to identify organisms that originate from a body site that would not be routinely cultured by their laboratory.

How are proficiency tests graded?

Please refer to the Mycology PT Grading portion of this website.

Failure to attain an overall testing score of at least 80% is unsatisfactory performance.

What happens if my laboratory fails the PT?

Laboratories that fail one event will be notified of unsatisfactory performance and must submit problem evaluation data and corrective action documentation to the section.

Laboratories that fail two out of three consecutive PT events will be notified of unsuccessful performance and may be required to cease testing. Following unsuccessful performance a laboratory will be required to successfully participate in two proficiency test events.

What should a laboratory do if the director is not available to sign the proficiency test results before the postmark deadline?

The laboratory should retain a copy of the result form and send the unsigned original form along with an explanatory note by the postmark deadline. The copy should be signed by the director within two working days of his/her return and submitted to the PT section.

How do we get in touch with the Mycology Laboratory?

You can reach the Mycology laboratory by phone at (518) 474-4177, by fax at (518) 486-7971 or by e-mail at

Ask to speak with Dr. Sudha Chaturvedi.

What are the organisms given in the Mycology Proficiency Tests?

Most often the organisms given in the proficiency test are selected from the master lists for Molds or Yeasts.

What are the categories in which Mycology proficiency testing (PT) is currently offered?

Proficiency testing is currently offered in Mycology – Comprehensive and Mycology – Restricted. Please refer to the portion of this site that describes these subcategories.

How often are PT shipments sent out?

SCHEDULE" section of the Mycology website and on the CLEP website. (Note: link to page