A case of coccidioidomycosis from the prehistoric southwestern United States

M. A. Schillaci

Abstract


A systemic mycotic infection involving a 30-35 year old male recovered during an archaeological excavation of a twelfth-century habitation site near Taos, New Mexico, exhibits well-demarcated and locally diffuse lytic lesions across much of its post-cranial skeleton. Differential diagnosis based on the physical appearance of these lesions, their distribution on the post-cranial skeleton, and on the geographic location of the burial, suggest Coccidioides immitis as the most likely source of this infection. No specific record of coccidioidomycosis occurring prehistorically in this region could be found in the archaeological or anthropological literature.

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