What is the role of immunoglobulin M (IgM) detection in the workup of coccidioidomycosis?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: Duane R Hospenthal, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA, FASTMH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The appearance of immunoglobulin M (IgM) or precipitin antibody against Coccidioides is the most sensitive serologic indication of early infection. IgM is detected in approximately half of all coccidioidal infections within the first week and in approximately 90% by 3 weeks.

The IgM antibody fades over several weeks. In most patients, these antibodies dissipate within 6 months. However, IgM may persist and/or reappear under certain circumstances (eg, chronic cavitary coccidioidomycosis or systemic reinfection associated with ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement).

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