Systemic infection caused by Candida species is the fourth leading cause of nosocomial bloodstream infection in modern hospitals and carries high morbidity and mortality despite antifungal therapy. A recent surge of immunological studies in the mouse models of systemic candidiasis and the parallel discovery and phenotypic characterization of inherited genetic disorders in antifungal immune factors that are associated with enhanced susceptibility or resistance to the infection have provided new insights into the cellular and molecular basis of protective innate immune responses against Candida. In this review, the new developments in our understanding of how the mammalian immune system responds to systemic Candida challenge are synthesized and important future research directions are highlighted.
Keywords: innate immunity; monocytes/macrophages; neutrophils; systemic candidiasis.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology 2014. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.