Coccidioidomycosis is a common fungal infection acquired in the southwestern United States. This is the first study in over 2 decades to determine the seroincidence of Coccidioides immitis infections among U.S. military members performing training exercises in an area of endemicity. Only 8% of participants were aware of coccidioidomycosis, despite the majority having visited or lived previously in an area of endemicity. One (0.6%) of the 178 participants developed "definite" serologic evidence of infection over a 5-week training period; four (2.3%) additional patients developed "possible" coccidioidomycosis infections. None had complicated disease. The calculated annual incidence ranged from 6 to 32%. This study suggests that the risk of serious coccidioidomycosis is low among military personnel during desert training exercises; however, disease incidence may vary depending on specific activities and geographic factors. Due to the potential morbidity and mortality of this infection, preventative strategies, including vaccine development, are advocated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)