Coccidioidomycosis is an emerging fungal disease in Brazil; adequate maintenance and authentication of Coccidioides isolates are essential for research into genetic diversity of the environmental organisms, as well as for understanding the human disease. Seventeen Coccidioides isolates maintained under mineral oil since 1975 in the Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (IMTSP) culture collection, Brazil, were evaluated with respect to their viability, morphological characteristics and genetic features in order to authenticate these fungal cultures. Only five isolates were viable after almost 30 years, showing typical morphological characteristics, and sequencing analysis using Coi-F and Coi-R primers revealed 99% identity with Coccidioides genera. These five isolates were then preserved in liquid nitrogen and sterile water, and remained viable after two years of storage under these conditions, maintaining the same features.
Culture collection; Coccidioides; Viability; Molecular identification; Long-term preservation