Sporotrichosis (Rose Gardener’s disease) Lab Diagnosis

By Acharya Tankeshwar •  Updated: 06/04/21 •  2 min read

Sporotrichosis is a chronic infection of subcutaneous tissues caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenckii, which is a dimorphic fungus. Human acquire sporotrichosis infection through trauma (thorns, splinters), usually to the hand, arm, or leg.

What is the natural habitat of Sprothrix schenckii?
Sprothrix schenckii has a worldwide distribution. Its natural habitat is living or dead vegetation.

Who is commonly affected by Rose Gardner’s disease?

Sporotrichosis disease is an occupational hazard for farmers, nursery workers, gardeners, florists, and miners. Pulmonary infection may occur after inhalation of spores but is very rare.

How is Sporotrichosis diagnosed?

Clinical specimen: Exudate aspirated from unopened subcutaneous nodules or from open draining lesions.

Methods for Diagnosis:

Direct microscopy

It is very difficult to observe the yeast form of Sporothrix schenckii in the clinical specimen. So the diagnostic significance of direct microscopy is very less. Sporothrix schenckii appears as small, round to oval to cigar-shaped yeast cells. Periodic acid-schiff (PAS) method can be used to stain histological slides.


Colonies of Sprothrix schenckii grow rapidly (3-5 days) and maybe mistaken with yeast colonies. On further incubation, these colonies become membranous, wrinkled, dark brown, or black in color. The consistency of the colony may be leathery. If the culture is incubated at 37°C Sprothrix schenckii colony transforms into a soft, cream-colored white yeast-like colony (dimorphism). Conversion from mold form to yeast form takes place within 1-5 days.

Microscopy from the culture

The hyphae of Sprothrix schenckii are delicate, septate, and branching. Flowerette arrangement of conidia (single-celled conidia borne in clusters from the tip of single conidiophore) is seen. If the yeast-like colony is taken from a plate cultured at 37°C singly or multiply budding oval or elongate, cigar-shaped yeast cells are seen.

Acharya Tankeshwar

Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. I am Tankeshwar Acharya. Blogging is my passion. As an asst. professor, I am teaching microbiology and immunology to medical and nursing students at PAHS, Nepal. I have been working as a microbiologist at Patan hospital for more than 10 years.

One response to “Sporotrichosis (Rose Gardener’s disease) Lab Diagnosis”

  1. Sandy says:

    I’m pretty sure I have this and Ive been suffering from it for the last several years (5 to be exact). I acquired it from hay fed to a horse in the barn I took care of. I stripped the stall one day because the owner rarely did and it was not until too late that I realized the ‘dust’ clouding the air wasn’t just dust, but also millions of microscopically small round floating barbs. They were only visible against bright sunlight. I have suffered ever since and have all the scars to prove it. I’ve often wondered if inhaling them already has or will evently effect my lungs. Horrible affliction, for sure.

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