Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection caused by inhalation of the fungus Coccidioides immitis. C. immitis grows as a mold in the soil. When the soil is disturbed, the mold hyphae fragment, forming structures that become airborne. If inhaled by animals or humans, they transform into thick-walled spheres that produce thousands of endospores, which are capable of reproducing. Epidemics of coccidioidomycosis have occurred following large-scale soil disturbances caused by dust storms, earthquakes, and excavations.
In persons with competent immune systems, the majority of infections produce no symptoms or mild, self-limited upper respiratory tract illness. At least two-thirds of coccidioidal infections go unnoticed. Moderate to severe illness involving the lower respiratory tract takes several weeks to develop. Acute infections usually resolve without therapy within a few weeks or months. In 5-10% of persons, however the infection progresses to chronic pulmonary disease or disseminates via the blood or lymph circulation to the skin, bones, meninges, or other sites.
Acute infections usually resolve without therapy within a few weeks or months. However, when the infection progresses to chronic pulmonary disease or disseminates, antibiotic treatment is required.
The Medifocus Guide on Coccidioidomycosis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of coccidioidomycosis?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing coccidioidomycosis?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of coccidioidomycosis?
What treatment options are available for the management of coccidioidomycosis?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in coccidioidomycosis?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for coccidioidomycosis?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about coccidioidomycosis?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Hyphal forms in the central nervous system of patients with coccidioidomycosis. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2000
Coccidioidomycosis meningitis with massive dural and cerebral venous thrombosis and tissue arthroconidia. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 2000
Airway coccidioidomycosis--report of cases and review. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 1999
Coccidioidomycosis--the airborne assault continues: an unusual presentation with a review of the history, epidemiology, and military relevance. Aviation Space & Environmental Medicine. 1999
Endemic mycoses: a treatment update. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 1999
Coccidioidomycosis: a regional disease of national importance. Rethinking approaches for control. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1999
Recent advances in cryptococcosis, candidiasis and coccidioidomycosis complicating HIV infection. Medical Mycology. 1998
Coccidioidomycosis: an update. Hospital Practice (Office Edition). 1998
Treatment of coccidioidal spinal infection: experience in 16 cases. Journal of Spinal Disorders. 1997
Coccidioidomycosis. Current Clinical Topics in Infectious Diseases. 1997
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