Coccidioides (Valley Fever) PCR test
environmental/diagnostic assay data sheet
Coccidioides (Valley Fever) PCR test
code: F0011 - Ultrasensitive
detection of Coccidioides immitis / Coccidioides
posadasii by real time PCR.
Coccidioides species are dimorphic
immitis is endemic to the San Joaquin valley of California;
Coccidioides posadasii is found in desert regions of the
southwestern United States including Arizona, Utah, New Mexico,
and West Texas, and also in parts of Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay
and Central America. There is very little difference in
morphology or clinical presentation between the 2 species, and
both can cause the disease coccidioidomycosis, also referred to
as "Valley Fever."
Coccidioides fungi are commonly
found in soil and dust in endemic areas (Johnson et al., 2014).
Arthroconidida are the infectious form of the fungi. When the
arthroconidida dissociate, they can be carried by the wind for
many miles. Coccidioidomycosis cases increase when there are
rainy summers followed by dry winters, and after earthquakes or
after humans disturb the soil by plowing, construction or
When the anrthroconidida are inhaled into the lungs, they transform into
multinucleated spherical structures containing hundreds of
endospores. Most people will only develop a mild or asymptomatic
pulmonary infection which resolves without intervention.
However, some people who are infected may develop an apparent
community-acquired pneumonia which often has an associated rash
and arthralgias. The incubation time for the infection is about
2 weeks after exposure. Often these pneumonias resolve and only
a few will progress to chronic pulmonary disease which can
present as nodular or cavitary disease. Even fewer cases will
progress to systemic or central nervous system
coccidioidomycosis, but these forms are quite serious and are
associated with heightened morbidity and mortality.
While most healthy individuals will normally not develop significant
symptoms after exposure to these fungi, some groups of
individuals are at increased risk for progression to
extrapulmonary or disseminated coccidioidomycosis. These
individuals are persons of African American or Filipino descent,
pregnant women (especially those in their 3rd trimester) and
patients with immunosuppressive conditions such as malignancies,
transplant patients, and those with HIV or diabetes.
Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is often the
method of choice for detection and identification of
Coccidioides species, not only because of its speed, sensitivity and
specificity, but also because of its utility on a variety of
specimen types (Gago et al., 2014). PCR can be used to detect
these fungi in environmental samples such as dust, water or
soil, as well as in various samples of biological origin.
are presented in a concise, signed, easy-to-read PDF report
optimized for documentation and recordkeeping.
Detect these fungi in surface dust, soil, water or other environmental
Confirm the presence of the disease causing agent in biological samples
Minimize occupational exposure to these fungi
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of the
Selection of appropriate treatment regimens
Gago, S., Buitrago, M.J., Clemons, K.V., Cuenca-Estrella, M., Mirels,
L.F. and Stevens, D.A. (2014) Development and validation of a
quantitative real-time PCR assay for the early diagnosis of
coccidioidomycosis. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 79:214-221.
Johnson, S.M., Carlson, E.L., Fisher, F.S. and Pappagianis, D. (2014)
Demonstration of Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii
DNA in soil samples collected from Dinosaur National Monument,
Utah. Med. Mycol. 52:610-617.
Specimen requirements: Surface dust swab or
gauze pad, or 10 ml soil, or 10 ml water, or 0.2 ml
cerebrospinal fluid, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top
tube), or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative real time polymerase chain reaction