Contribution of Biologic Response Modifiers to the Risk of Coccidioidomycosis Severity

Fariba M. Donovan, Ferris A. Ramadan, James R. Lim, Julia E. Buchfuhrer, Rebia N. Khan, Natalie P. Dequillfeldt, Natalie M. Davis, Ashwini Kaveti, Melanie De Shadarevian, Edward J. Bedrick, John N. Galgiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The risk of coccidioidomycosis (CM) as a life-Threatening respiratory illness or disseminated CM (DCM) increases as much as 150-fold in immunosuppressed patients. The safety of biologic response modifiers (BRMs) as treatment for patients with autoimmune disease (AI) in CM-endemic regions is not well defined. We sought to determine that risk in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study reviewing demographics, Arizona residency length, clinical presentations, specific AI diagnoses, CM test results, and BRM treatments in electronic medical records of patients ≥18 years old with International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes for CM and AI from 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2019. Results: We reviewed 944 charts with overlapping ICD-10 codes for CM and AI, of which 138 were confirmed to have both diagnoses. Male sex was associated with more CM (P =. 003), and patients with African ancestry were 3 times more likely than those with European ancestry to develop DCM (P <. 001). Comparing CM+/AI+ (n = 138) with CM+/AI- (n = 449) patients, there were no significant differences in CM clinical presentations. Patients receiving BRMs had 2.4 times more DCM compared to pulmonary CM (PCM). Conclusions: AI does not increase the risk of any specific CM clinical presentation, and BRM treatment of most AI patients does not lead to severe CM. However, BRMs significantly increase the risk of DCM, and prospective studies are needed to identify the immunogenetic subset that permits BRM-Associated DCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofac032
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Valley fever
  • autoimmune disease
  • biologic response modifiers
  • coccidioidomycosis
  • tumor necrosis factor inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution of Biologic Response Modifiers to the Risk of Coccidioidomycosis Severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this