Recent Observations on Coccidioides Infection

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  • Department of Pathology, Los Angeles County Hospital and the Department of Bacteriology, School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
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With the recent recognition by Gifford (1) and Dickson (2, 3) of the benign “San Joaquin Valley Fever” as a prevalent type of coccidioides infection in California, it is of interest to make certain comparisons between this mild type of pulmonary coccidioides and the more chronic “coccidioidal granuloma”, which was first reported in California by Rixford (4) in 1894.

Prevalence and Distribution

The first case of coccidioides on record is supposed to have been observed in Argentina, by Posadas and Wernicke in 1891. However, since no subsequent cases have been reported from this area one may question whether they actually were dealing with the fungus we now known as Coccidioides immitis.

Between the years 1893 and 1939, 660 cases of coccidioides have been reported to the California State Department of Public Health. Chart 1 shows the occurrence of these by years.