Tucson to Serve as Site for Valley Fever Drug Study
The NIH study provides the UA with approximately $1.9 million to study the effectiveness of the anti-fungal fluconazole over two years.
Congressional leaders from Arizona and California joined researchers from the University of Arizona and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix to discuss progress in the search for a cure to Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis).
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., co-chairs of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, announced that Tucson will be one of the sites for a randomized drug study of an anti-fungal treatment. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study provides the UA with approximately $1.9 million to study the effectiveness of the anti-fungal fluconazole in Tucson over two years.
The ultimate goal is to more readily diagnose Valley fever, identify a viable cure and develop a vaccine. UA researchers have developed delta-CPS1, a vaccine that is preventing Valley fever in mice and could be used in humans and pets. Additionally, Dr. John Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the UA, is leading the way in developing viable treatments and a possible cure for Valley fever using Nikkomycin Z.
Valley fever, primarily a disease of the lungs, is common in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Two-thirds of all reported U.S. cases occur in Arizona, and nearly all of those are from the 150-mile stretch of urban areas including Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. Valley fever is often the second-most reported infectious disease to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Founded in 2013, the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force consists of a bipartisan group of members of Congress who are committed to improving awareness, reducing the risk of misdiagnosis and finding a viable cure. The task force also seeks to raise awareness and initiate dialogue within the medical community about Valley fever.
In addition to McCarthy and Schweikert, task force members are: Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.; Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.; Rep. Paul Cook, R-Calif.; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.; Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif.; and Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas.
For more information on valley fever, visit https://experts.arizona.edu/valley-fever.
For more information about Valley fever: https://uanews.arizona.edu/valley-fever
University of Arizona in the News