Coccidioidomycosis, more commonly known as Valley fever, is a fungal infection of increasing public health concern in the United States. Clinical manifestations range from mild flu-like disease to severe disseminated infection that can require life-long therapy. Valley fever is most common to the arid regions of the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central and South America. In 2019, more than 20,000 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and this is likely an underestimate as many patients go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to delays in testing. Over the past decade prevalence and geographic spread of Valley fever has steadily increased contributing to the urgency to develop better medical countermeasures for this disease. Currently, no vaccine is licensed to prevent Valley fever. Because Coccidioides infection in people usually provides protective immunity from reinfection, developing a safe and effective vaccine is generally thought to be feasible and would be expected to provide durable immunity. A safe and effective vaccine against Coccidioides infection could protect residents in the affected areas in the United States and other countries.
Source: NOT-AI-23-031: Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Advancing Research Needed to Develop a Coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) Vaccine