Intestinal fungi and systemic autoimmune diseases

Autoimmun Rev. 2023 Feb;22(2):103234. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2022.103234. Epub 2022 Nov 21.


Nearly 20 years of studies have shown that fungi and the human immune system (non-specific immunity and specific immunity) and bacterial--fungal interactions maintain a balance that can't lead to diseases. Fungi--microorganism that lives in human intestine--may play an important role in human health and disease. Population studies and animal models in some diseases have found the changes in the diversity and composition of fungi. The dysregulation of the fungi can disrupt the normal "running" of the immune system and bacteria, which triggers the development of inflammatory diseases. The latest studies of fungi in inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis and type 1 diabetes mellitus were summarized. This review considers how the healthy host protect against the potential harm of intestinal fungi through the immune system and how fungal dysregulation alters host immunity.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Diabetes mellitus type 1; Immune system; Inflammatory bowel disease; Intestinal fungi; System lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / etiology
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Intestines
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing*