Characterizing in vitro spherule morphogenesis of multiple strains of both species of Coccidioides

Heather L. Mead, Marcus De Melo Teixeira, John N. Galgiani, Bridget M. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The disease San Joaquin Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) is caused by the inhalation of Coccidioides arthroconidia. In vivo, arthroconidia transform into pathogenic structures termed spherules. Exposure to the host milieu triggers spherule development; however, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the morphological shift are not well characterized. This study compared the morphogenesis of five strains of both species of Coccidioides in two media types to improve the in vitro model of dimorphism that can be easily reproduced, and is amenable to tissue culture. We also sought to establish a modern record of the morphological switch among commonly used lab strains through a detailed account of growth under various conditions. Spherules from five strains were grown in standard (Converse) and experimental media (RPMI-sph). Strain behavior was quantified by median spherule size and spherule concentration, beginning 3 days after inoculation and followed for 10 days of growth. There were significant differences observed among Coccidioides immitis and C. posadasii strains, as well as differences between the in vitro systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-488
Number of pages11
JournalMedical mycology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • BSL3
  • Coccidioides
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Spherules
  • Valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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