Immunotherapy against Systemic Fungal Infections Based on Monoclonal Antibodies

J Fungi (Basel). 2020 Feb 29;6(1):31. doi: 10.3390/jof6010031.


: The increasing incidence in systemic fungal infections in humans has increased focus for the development of fungal vaccines and use of monoclonal antibodies. Invasive mycoses are generally difficult to treat, as most occur in vulnerable individuals, with compromised innate and adaptive immune responses. Mortality rates in the setting of our current antifungal drugs remain excessively high. Moreover, systemic mycoses require prolonged durations of antifungal treatment and side effects frequently occur, particularly drug-induced liver and/or kidney injury. The use of monoclonal antibodies with or without concomitant administration of antifungal drugs emerges as a potentially efficient treatment modality to improve outcomes and reduce chemotherapy toxicities. In this review, we focus on the use of monoclonal antibodies with experimental evidence on the reduction of fungal burden and prolongation of survival in in vivo disease models. Presently, there are no licensed monoclonal antibodies for use in the treatment of systemic mycoses, although the potential of such a vaccine is very high as indicated by the substantial promising results from several experimental models.

Keywords: antifungal vaccines; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibodies; passive immunization; systemic fungal infections; therapeutic vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review