Cross-protective TH1 immunity against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

Blood. 2011 Jun 2;117(22):5881-91. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-12-325084. Epub 2011 Mar 25.


T cell-mediated heterologous immunity to different pathogens is promising for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies. Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans, the 2 most common fungal pathogens causing severe infections in immunocompromised patients, are controlled by CD4+ type 1 helper T (T(H)1) cells in humans and mice, making induction of fungus-specific CD4+ T(H)1 immunity an appealing strategy for antifungal therapy. We identified an immunogenic epitope of the A fumigatus cell wall glucanase Crf1 that can be presented by 3 common major histocompatibility complex class II alleles and that induces memory CD4+ T(H)1 cells with a diverse T-cell receptor repertoire that is cross-reactive to C albicans. In BALB/c mice, the Crf1 protein also elicits cross-protection against lethal infection with C albicans that is mediated by the same epitope as in humans. These data illustrate the existence of T cell-based cross-protection for the 2 distantly related clinically relevant fungal pathogens that may foster the development of immunotherapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / immunology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / pathogenicity
  • Blotting, Western
  • Candida albicans / immunology*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis / immunology*
  • Candidiasis / prevention & control*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cross Protection*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Vaccination


  • Peptide Fragments
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Glycoside Hydrolases