We developed a microscopy method for the detection of fungal cells in peripheral blood, termed blood lysate staining, using an approximately 5x5 mm dotted blood lysate. This method was able to detect the emerging fungal pathogen Trichosporon asahii in murine models of systemic fungal infection and fungemia in patients quickly and at minimal cost. Pathogenic yeasts were successfully detected in 6 of 8 blood samples which were taken from feverish immunocompromised patients who were clinically suspected of having fungal infections. Fungal cells were observed as ovoid to elongated, 3x3 to 7x10 microm, and occurred singly, budding, and in short chains and clusters in a periodic acid-Schiff-stained blood smear. The yeast cells were easily distinguished from blood-cell debris by their size, shape and smooth yet rigid outline.