Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA. Chief Editor: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2015.
Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection that primarily affects the lungs and respiratory tract. It can in rare cases spread to other parts of the body.
Coccidioidomycosis is also known as San Joaquin Valley fever (or simply Valley fever) or desert rheumatism.
Coccidioidomycosis is caused by two distinct Coccidiodies species of soil fungus, Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadaii.
The infection occurs through:
In 65% of cases, patients with coccidioidomycosis are asymptomatic.
Patients with mild or self-limiting infections will present with:
Patients with more severe infections can present with additional symptoms of:
Disseminated coccidioidomycosis refers to the spread of the lung infection to other organs.
This advance can be rapid and involve the soft tissues, joints, central nervous system, endocrine glands, eyes, liver, kidneys, peritoneal cavity and, most seriously, the meninges (lining around the brain). If untreated, coccidioides infections of the meninges are nearly always fatal.
Patients with disseminated coccidioidomycosis may present with:
Risk factors for coccidioidomycosis include:
Diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis is made through:
More severe cases may require additional testing, including:
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