Coccidioidomycosis pathophysiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: ; Vidit Bhargava, M.B.B.S [2]; Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [3]


Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection, that is acquired through inhalation of the spores that is present in the environment. Following transmission, coccidioidomycosis are deposited into terminal bronchioles and enlarge, become rounded and develop internal septations to form what are known as the spherules. It then disseminates to the lymphatics and blood stream to gain access to any organ of the body.[1][2][3][4]


The pathogenesis of coccidioidomycosis can be described in following steps.[1][2][3][4]

Life cycle and epidemiology - Source:


  • Coccidioiodomycosis exist as mycelia in the soil with septations.
  • During hot climate or dry environment, they proliferate asexually, transforming into spores, known as arthroconidia.
  • Infection is caused by inhalation of these arthroconidia.
  • The disease is not transmitted from person to person.

Incubation period

  • Incubation period of coccidioidomycosis varies from one to three weeks.



Immune response

Coccidioidomycosis elicits cell-mediated immune responses.

Life cycle of coccidiodes
Life cycle of coccidiodes


There is no known genetic association to coccidioidomycosis.

Microscopic pathology

It is a dimorphic fungus and on microscopy, the following can be seen

Histopathological changes in coccidioidomycosis
Histopathological changes in coccidioidomycosis



  1. 1.0 1.1 Stockamp NW, Thompson GR (2016). "Coccidioidomycosis". Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am. 30 (1): 229–46. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2015.10.008. PMID 26739609.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Twarog M, Thompson GR (2015). "Coccidioidomycosis: Recent Updates". Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 36 (5): 746–55. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1562900. PMID 26398540.
  3. 3.0 3.1 DiCaudo DJ (2014). "Coccidioidomycosis". Semin Cutan Med Surg. 33 (3): 140–5. PMID 25577855.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Malo J, Luraschi-Monjagatta C, Wolk DM, Thompson R, Hage CA, Knox KS (2014). "Update on the diagnosis of pulmonary coccidioidomycosis". Ann Am Thorac Soc. 11 (2): 243–53. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201308-286FR. PMID 24575994.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 "Public Health Image Library (PHIL)".

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