Caister Academic Press

Host Responses to Fungal Infection

David L. Moyes, Jonathan P. Richardson and Julian R. Naglik
from: Human Pathogenic Fungi: Molecular Biology and Pathogenic Mechanisms (Edited by: Derek J. Sullivan and Gary P. Moran). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)

Abstract

The three major opportunistic fungal pathogens of humans are Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. These pathogens primarily infect immunocompromised individuals either as a result of immunodeficiency (e.g. neutropenia, HIV infection) or intervention therapy (e.g. leukemia, organ transplant, cancer). This highlights the importance of host immune defences in controlling or preventing fungal infections. In health, these fungal pathogens initially interact with mucosal surfaces which may lead to colonisation and establishment of commensalism, but in the immunocompromised these fungi can cause serious superficial infections and may disseminate to cause life-threatening systemic infections. To combat these fungal infections, the host utilises vast communication network of cells, proteins and chemical signals distributed in blood and tissues, which constitute innate and adaptive immunity. In this chapter we will review how the host recognises these fungi, the events induced by fungal cells, and the host immune defences that ultimately resolve the infections during health. The overview will primarily target C. albicans, the most common fungal pathogen of humans read more ...
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