a fungal infection caused by the fungus coccidioides immitis. Exists in two forms: primary disease, which is a self-limited respiratory infection (requires no treatment) and a progressive form (diffuse and granulomatous), that can involve almost any part of the body. Approximately 60% of infections cause no symptoms and are identified only by skin testing. Immunocompromised patients (AIDS) are at greatest risk for disseminated disease. Symptoms include cough, anorexia, fever, weight loss and joint pains. Complications include pleural effusion and dissemination. There is a poor prognosis for disseminated disease.