Host Control of Fungal Infections: Lessons from Basic Studies and Human Cohorts

Annu Rev Immunol. 2018 Apr 26;36:157-191. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-042617-053318. Epub 2017 Dec 13.


In the last few decades, the AIDS pandemic and the significant advances in the medical management of individuals with neoplastic and inflammatory conditions have resulted in a dramatic increase in the population of immunosuppressed patients with opportunistic, life-threatening fungal infections. The parallel development of clinically relevant mouse models of fungal disease and the discovery and characterization of several inborn errors of immune-related genes that underlie inherited human susceptibility to opportunistic mycoses have significantly expanded our understanding of the innate and adaptive immune mechanisms that protect against ubiquitous fungal exposures. This review synthesizes immunological knowledge derived from basic mouse studies and from human cohorts and provides an overview of mammalian antifungal host defenses that show promise for informing therapeutic and vaccination strategies for vulnerable patients.

Keywords: acquired immunodeficiencies; antifungal immunity; fungal vaccines; fungi; immunotherapy; monogenic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Fungal Vaccines / immunology
  • Fungi / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immune System / metabolism
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mycoses / immunology*
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Mycoses / therapy
  • Signal Transduction


  • Fungal Vaccines