How neutrophils kill fungi

Immunol Rev. 2016 Sep;273(1):299-311. doi: 10.1111/imr.12454.


Neutrophils play a critical role in the prevention of invasive fungal infections. Whereas mouse studies have demonstrated the role of various neutrophil pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs), signal transduction pathways, and cytotoxicity in the murine antifungal immune response, much less is known about the killing of fungi by human neutrophils. Recently, novel primary immunodeficiencies have been identified in patients with a susceptibility to fungal infections. These human 'knock-out' neutrophils expand our knowledge to understand the role of PRRs and signaling in human fungal killing. From the studies with these patients it is becoming clear that neutrophils employ fundamentally distinct mechanisms to kill Candida albicans or Aspergillus fumigatus.

Keywords: CARD9; CR3; NADPH oxidase; NET formation; dectin-1; neutrophil.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / immunology*
  • Candida albicans / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mice
  • Mycoses / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / microbiology
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition