Streamlined, patient-focused testing

Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by Coccidioides species, a dimorphic fungal pathogen. Coccidioides species are primarily found in the arid soils of the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America, although the geographic range is expanding in response to climate change.1 Infection occurs following inhalation of Coccidioides spores. While most infected individuals will not exhibit symptoms, certain individuals, including those who are immunocompromised, are at significantly higher risk for becoming severely ill.

Coccidioides Test menu


Confirming Valley fever typically requires a multi-pronged approach, including fungal culture, molecular testing, and serologic assessment for antibodies developed against the organism.

While the reference method for Coccidioides serologic testing includes complement fixation (CF) and immunodiffusion (ID) assays, these assays are technically challenging to perform, require manual manipulation and interpretation, and have a turnaround time to results of 48-72 hours. 2

To optimize testing, Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers an upfront, screening enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect Coccidioides antibodies prior to testing by Coccidioides CF/ID. Samples that result as reactive by ELISA are subsequently reflexed for confirmatory, CF/ID testing. This enables:

  • Faster turnaround of negative results by ELISA.
  • Lower overall cost for samples with initial negative results.

Key testing


  • Uses an ELISA to screen for Coccidioides antibodies with a reflex to complement fixation/immunodiffusion if results are reactive.
  • Offers increased sensitivity (ELISA) and specificity (CF/ID) for diagnostic certainty.
  • Negative results reported in 24 hours.
  • Lower testing costs when screening using the ELISA.
    • The majority of test results are negative and require no further testing.
  • Support testing stewardship through improved test utilization.

Reflex testing


Additional testing

Key testing

  1. Gorris M, Treseder K, Zender C, Randerson J. Expandion of Coccidiomycosis endemic regions in the United States in response to climate change. GeoHealth, 3, 308-327. https:///
  2. McHardy I, Barker B, Thompson G, Review of Clinical and Laboratory Diagnostics for Coccidiomycosis. J. Clin. Microbiol. March 2023.
  3. Valley Fever (Coccidiomycosis) Statistics. Fungal Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Page reviewed July 2022. Accessed January 2023.
  4. Crum NF. Coccidioidomycosis: A Contemporary Review. Infect Dis Ther. 2022;11(2):713-742. doi:10.1007/s40121-022-00606-y

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