• Coccidioidomycosis as a Cause of Sarcoid in Arizona

      Yourison, Isaac; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Kuberski, Tim (The University of Arizona., 2016-03-25)
      BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE: Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disease of unknown etiology. Coccidioidomycosis is a granulomatous fungal infection due to Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides Posadasii endemic to the Southwestern United States and the majority of the cases are reported from Arizona. The cause of sarcoidosis has been studied for over a hundred years without establishing an etiology. Establishing the cause of sarcoid would be a significant contribution to the understanding of an important multisystem disease. RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Based on clinical observations a group of patients with two granulomatous diseases – sarcoidosis and coccidioidomycosis led to the hypothesis for this Scholarly Project – can sarcoidosis be caused by the fungus Coccidioides? METHODS: A literature review was performed which resulted in 5 patient case reports, a medical record review was conducted of patients with sarcoidosis between 2004‐2014 at Maricopa Medical Center with a case‐control comparison to 68 matched patients, and PCR analysis of 34 sarcoid biopsy specimens from the 68 sarcoid patients identified from the medical record. Also, two main patients with sarcoidosis were studied, one prospectively and the other retrospectively, both patients had their diagnosis of sarcoidosis made in Arizona and both develop sarcoidosis. There was no evidence of an etiology for their sarcoidosis at the time of diagnosis, specifically no evidence of coccidioidomycosis. The prospective patient was followed for eight years before he developed coccidioidomycosis. Predicting correctly that a patient diagnosed with sarcoid in Arizona would eventually develop coccidioidomycosis provides strong evidence for an etiologic relationship between Coccidioides and sarcoidosis. INCOMPLETE STUDIES: There is one major study for this Project that has not been completed: 1. Genetic studies on patients with both sarcoidosis and coccidioidomycosis to determine if there is a genetic predisposition to disseminated coccidioidomycosis