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July 22, 1950

RECENT ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE OF FUNGOUS DISEASES OF THE LUNGSWith Special Reference to Coccidioidomycosis and Histoplasmosis

Author Affiliations

New York

Associate physician, pulmonary diseases, Jewish Memorial Hospital (New York) and Beth-El Hospital (Brooklyn).

JAMA. 1950;143(12):1041-1044. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910470001001

The more recent advances in knowledge of coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis are attributable in some respects to circumstances arising out of World War II. Although knowledge of other fungous diseases has also been extended, the two aforementioned infections have exhibited such a historical and epidemiologic parallelism and the advances in the concepts of both diseases have been so rapid that it seems proper at this time to summarize their present status.


Pathogenesis and Distribution.—  Coccidioidomycosis, first described by Posadas1 and Wernicke,2 was originally seen in the Chaco region of South America. Shortly thereafter, the first 2 cases on the North American Continent were described by Rixford and Gilchrist.3 The organism, Coccidioides immitis, was believed to be a protozoan parasite until Ophüls and Moffitt4 isolated the fungus from their patient and proved its etiologic relationship. For the next thirty years, the history of coccidioidomycosis was noteworthy for

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