IFN-gamma in Candida albicans infections

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2009 Jan 1;14:1970-8. doi: 10.2741/3356.


The dimorphic fungus Candida albicans is the most frequent etiologic agent that causes opportunistic infections called candidiasis, a disease whose systemic manifestation could prove fatal and whose incidence is increasing as a result of an expanding immunocompromised population. Here we review the role of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in the host protection against invasive candidiasis. This cytokine plays an essential role in both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune response to candidiasis. We focus on recent progress on host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level, leading to the production of IFN-gamma by host cells. IFN-gamma is produced by CD4 Th1, CD8, gamma delta T, and natural killer (NK) cells, essentially in response to both IL-12 and/or IL-18, and plays an important role in the regulation of the immune system as well as in the control of the infectious process. IFN-gamma is required for optimal activation of phagocytes, collaborates in the generation of protective antibody response, and favours the development of a Th1 protective response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism


  • Interferon-gamma