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Rev Iberoam Micol. 2014 Jan-Mar;31(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.riam.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Molecular markers in the epidemiology and diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis.

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Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México DF, Mexico.
División de Investigación, Hospital Juárez de México, México DF, Mexico.
Departamento de Zoología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México DF, Mexico.
Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México DF, Mexico. Electronic address:


The prevalence of coccidioidomycosis in endemic areas has been observed to increase daily. To understand the causes of the spread of the disease and design strategies for fungal detection in clinical and environmental samples, scientists have resorted to molecular tools that allow fungal detection in a natural environment, reliable identification in clinical cases and the study of biological characteristics, such as reproductive and genetic structure, demographic history and diversification. We conducted a review of the most important molecular markers in the epidemiology of Coccidioides spp. and the diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis. A literature search was performed for scientific publications concerning the application of molecular tools for the epidemiology and diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis. The use of molecular markers in the epidemiological study and diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis has allowed for the typing of Coccidioides spp. isolates, improved understanding of their mode of reproduction, genetic variation and speciation and resulted in the development specific, rapid and sensitive strategies for detecting the fungus in environmental and clinical samples. Molecular markers have revealed genetic variability in Coccidioides spp. This finding influences changes in the epidemiology of coccidioidomycosis, such as the emergence of more virulent or antifungal resistant genotypes. Furthermore, the molecular markers currently used to identify Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii are specific and sensitive. However, they must be validated to determine their application in diagnosis. This manuscript is part of the series of works presented at the "V International Workshop: Molecular genetic approaches to the study of human pathogenic fungi" (Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012).


Coccidioides spp.; Genetic variability; Marcadores moleculares; Molecular markers; Variabilidad genética

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