With the increasing use of biologics, clinical rheumatologists are becoming very well acquainted with opportunistic infections, including tuberculosis, histoplasmosis and Coccidiomycosis. In the great valleys of California as well as several other hot spots in the Southern areas of the United States and select pockets in South America, valley fever, also known as Coccidiomycosis, is an endemic infection. The vast majority of patients are asymptomatic following exposure, but are at risk for clinical disease in the case of immunosuppression. Additionally, although 60% of patients with infections are completely asymptomatic, nearly all patients have immunological evidence of exposure. Within some communities in the central valley of California, sero conversion approaches 100%, fortunately the vast majority remain asymptomatic. In this review we will place the context of the immune response to Coccidiomycosis in perspective and discuss not only the lymphoid response, but also recent data on antigenic analysis and bioinformatics of Coccidioides. This information is significant not only for a better understanding of Coccidiomycosis, but will also have utility in the management of patients within areas of the world who are treated with the biologics for autoimmune disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy