Volume 21, Number 6—June 2015
A soil fungus found in the western United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America, Coccidioides was discovered in 1892 by Alejandro Posadas, a medical student, in an Argentinian soldier with widespread disease. Biopsy specimens revealed organisms that resembled the protozoan Coccidia (from the Greek kokkis, “little berry”). In 1896, Gilchrist and Rixford named the organism Coccidioides (“resembling Coccidia”) immitis (Latin for “harsh,” describing the clinical course). Ophüls and Moffitt proved that C. immitis was a fungus rather than a protozoan in 1900. In 2002, C. immitis was divided into a second species, C. posadasii, after Alejandro Posadas.
- Fisher MC, Koenig GL, White TJ, Taylor JW. Molecular and phenotypic description of Coccidioides posadasii sp. nov., previously recognized as the non-California population of Coccidioides immitis. Mycologia. 2002;94:73–84.
- Galgiani JN. Coccidioides species. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, editors. Mandell, Douglass, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier. 2010. p. 3333–44.
- Hirschmann JV. The early history of coccidioidomycosis: 1892–1945. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;44:1202–7.