Coccidioidomycosis in Nonhuman Primates: Pathologic and Clinical Findings

Vet Pathol. 2018 Nov;55(6):905-915. doi: 10.1177/0300985818787306. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Coccidioidomycosis in nonhuman primates has been sporadically reported in the literature. This study describes 22 cases of coccidioidomycosis in nonhuman primates within an endemic region, and 79 cases of coccidioidomycosis from the veterinary literature are also reviewed. The 22 cases included baboons ( n = 10), macaques ( n = 9), and chimpanzees ( n = 3). The majority died or were euthanized following episodes of dyspnea, lethargy, or neurologic and locomotion abnormalities. The lungs were most frequently involved followed by the vertebral column and abdominal organs. Microscopic examination revealed granulomatous inflammation accompanied by fungal spherules variably undergoing endosporulation. Baboons represented a large number of cases presented here and had a unique presentation with lesions in bone or thoracic organs, but none had both intrathoracic and extrathoracic lesions. Although noted in 3 cases in the literature, cutaneous infections were not observed among the 22 contemporaneous cases. Similarly, subclinical infections were only rarely observed (2 cases). This case series and review of the literature illustrates that coccidioidomycosis in nonhuman primates reflects human disease with a varied spectrum of presentations from localized lesions to disseminated disease.

Keywords: Coccidioides; animals; coccidioidomycosis; emerging infectious diseases; primates; review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coccidioidomycosis / microbiology
  • Coccidioidomycosis / pathology
  • Coccidioidomycosis / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Lung / pathology
  • Macaca / microbiology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron / veterinary
  • Pan troglodytes / microbiology
  • Papio / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Primate Diseases / microbiology
  • Primate Diseases / pathology*