Valley fever, a disease caused by the soilborne fungal pathogen Coccidioides spp., is on the rise in the southwestern United States and is suspected of expanding its habitat in response to climate change. Many people residing in endemic areas are unaware of the risk of contracting coccidioidomycosis by inhaling fugitive dust that may contain dormant arthroconidia of this fungus. In an effort to teach students about the ongoing epidemic of valley fever and reduce incidence of the disease through education, we developed an inquiry-based, multi-focus laboratory exercise that (1) increases awareness of valley fever incidence, disease symptoms, and ongoing efforts of disease prevention; (2) teaches about the pathogen's ecology; and (3) familiarizes students with molecular techniques targeting pathogen identification. This laboratory exercise uses polymerase chain reaction to detect Coccidioides spp. in DNA extracts from soil samples collected by students across different soil environments. Additionally, this exercise will teach students how to use publicly available data to investigate disease incidence over time and characterize soils the pathogen may inhabit.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 81 • No. 7