Molecular detection of airborne coccidioides in tucson, arizona

Nancy A. Chow, Dalew Griffin, Bridgetm Barker, Vladimir N. Loparev, Anastasia P. Litvintseva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Environmental surveillance of the soil-dwelling fungus Coccidioides is essential for the prevention of Valley fever, a disease primarily caused by inhalation of the arthroconidia. Methods for collecting and detecting Coccidioides in soil samples are currently in use by several laboratories; however, a method utilizing current air sampling technologies has not been formally demonstrated for the capture of airborne arthroconidia. In this study, we collected air/dust samples at two sites (Site A and Site B) in the endemic region of Tucson, Arizona, and tested a variety of air samplers and membrane matrices. We then employed a single-tube nested qPCR assay for molecular detection. At both sites, numerous soil samples (n = 10 at Site A and n = 24 at Site B) were collected and Coccidioides was detected in two samples (20%) at Site A and in eight samples (33%) at Site B. Of the 25 air/dust samples collected at both sites using five different air sampling methods, we detected Coccidioides in three samples from site B. All three samples were collected using a high-volume sampler with glass-fiber filters. In this report, we describe these methods and propose the use of these air sampling and molecular detection strategies for environmental surveillance of Coccidioides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-592
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Mycology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Air/dust samples
  • Atmospheric sampling
  • Coccidioides
  • Molecular detection
  • Valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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