Measurement of cellular immunity in human coccidioidomycosis

Neil M. Ampel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Measurement of cellular immune response in human coccidioidomycosis, a disease of the Western Hemisphere caused by the soil-dwelling fungus Coccidioides, began more than 75 years ago. Numerous studies have shown that measurement of coccidioidal cellular immunity is a useful epidemiologic and clinical tool. The first widely used coccidioidal skin-test reagent, coccidioidin, was derived from a filtrate of cultured mycelia of Coccidioides by Smith and colleagues in the 1940's. It remained the standard until the 1970's, when spherulin, obtained from the spherule form of the fungus, was found to be more sensitive. Both reagents are specific indicators of coccidioidal cellular immunity. Since then, other coccidioidal antigens have been identified and in vitro tests of cellular immunity have been shown to yield comparable results to skin testing. In vitro assays have also begun to open a window on the specific immunologic events of coccidioidal cellular immunity. Persistent expression of coccidioidal cellular immune response appears to augur an improved clinical outcome. Despite this, a study of a coccidioidal vaccine failed to demonstrate efficacy. Current and future studies are focused on modulating the coccidioidal immune response in vitro and in vivo and on developing an improved vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Cellular
  • Coccidioides
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Human
  • Immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)


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