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.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Molecular detection of airborne Coccidioides in Tucson, Arizona|
|Series title||Medical Mycology|
|Contributing office(s)||St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|