Coccidioides immitis is a pathogenic fungus that resides in the soil in certain parts of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. C. immitis and a closely related species Coccidioides posadasii, can cause a disease called coccidioidomycosis, and it is also a rare cause of meningitis, mostly in immunocompromised persons.
It has been declared a select agent by both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is considered a biosafety level 3 pathogen.
Coccidioides PCR detects Coccidioides immitis/posadasii with higher specificity and sensitivity than the universal fungal PCR. The analytical sensitivity is 1 genome per PCR reaction.
David J. DiCaudo Coccidioidomycosis: A review and update J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;55:929-42