Molecular detection of airborne Coccidioides in Tucson, Arizona

Medical Mycology
By: , and 



Environmental surveillance of the soil-dwelling fungus Coccidioides is essential for the prevention of Valley fever, a disease primarily caused by inhalation of the arthroconidia. Methods for collecting and detectingCoccidioides in soil samples are currently in use by several laboratories; however, a method utilizing current air sampling technologies has not been formally demonstrated for the capture of airborne arthroconidia. In this study, we collected air/dust samples at two sites (Site A and Site B) in the endemic region of Tucson, Arizona, and tested a variety of air samplers and membrane matrices. We then employed a single-tube nested qPCR assay for molecular detection. At both sites, numerous soil samples (n = 10 at Site A and n = 24 at Site B) were collected and Coccidioides was detected in two samples (20%) at Site A and in eight samples (33%) at Site B. Of the 25 air/dust samples collected at both sites using five different air sampling methods, we detected Coccidioides in three samples from site B. All three samples were collected using a high-volume sampler with glass-fiber filters. In this report, we describe these methods and propose the use of these air sampling and molecular detection strategies for environmental surveillance of Coccidioides.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Molecular detection of airborne Coccidioides in Tucson, Arizona
Series title Medical Mycology
DOI 10.1093/mmy/myw022
Volume 54
Issue 6
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Oxford Journals
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 9 p.
First page 584
Last page 592
Country United States
State Arizona
City Tucson
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details