Coccidioidomycosis in the Salivary Gland of the Townsend Mole

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Introduction. It has been generally believed that the fungus Coccidioides immitis grew in the soil when sufficient moisture was present, then in dry periods formed spores and was disseminated. Animal infestation was considered incidental. Emmons (1) found it very difficult, however, to isolate Coccidioides from the soil in vicinities where the clinical disease or positive coccidioidin tests were common in humans and questioned the presence of the spores as a natural saprophytic contaminant of the soil. He isolated the fungus from 25 of 105 small rodents trapped near San Carlos, Arizona, and postulated that rodents constitute a natural reservoir for the disease. The rodents found infested in this survey were the deer mouse, pocket mouse, kangaroo rat and ground squirrel. The fungus was recovered subsequently from the grasshopper mouse in the same area (2).

Author Notes

From the Department of Anatomy, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.