Coccidioidomycosis in llamas and alpacas diagnosed at the University of California, Davis (1990-2016)

S. E. Grayzel, G. R. Thompson, B. Martínez-López, J. E. Dechant, I. Mchardy, J. E. Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Given the predisposition of South American camelids to coccidioidomycosis, we sought to describe the disease presentation in alpacas and llamas and identify potential risk factors for these species. The records of 224 llamas and alpacas that were tested for Coccidioides infection using immunodiffusion serology at the Coccidioidomycosis Serology Laboratory of the University of California, Davis, between 1990 and 2016 were examined; of those, 46 alpacas and 42 llamas had positive test results. The remaining 99 alpacas and 37 llamas were used as control groups. We found that male llamas were at increased risk for Coccidioides infection when compared with female llamas and when compared with male alpacas. South American camelids living within California were at higher risk for infection than camelids living in other states. Alpacas were more likely than llamas to have subclinical infections. We documented five cases of abortion or neonatal mortality attributable to coccidioidomycosis in alpacas. Our study demonstrates that South American camelids are susceptible to Coccidioides infection in areas where the disease is endemic, lending support to the importance of vigilance for this disease in alpacas and llamas and suggesting a possible role for these animals as sentinel species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-577
Number of pages7
JournalMedical mycology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • alpaca
  • Coccidioides
  • coccidioidomycosis
  • llama
  • Valley Fever
  • zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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