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Virulence. 2012 Jul 1;3(4):368-76. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

The potential impact of antifungal drug resistance mechanisms on the host immune response to Candida.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


A large number of studies have been published over the last two decades examining molecular mechanisms of antifungal resistance in Candida species. However, few of these studies have explored how such mechanisms influence the host immune response to this opportunistic pathogen. With recent advances in our understanding of host immunity to Candida, a body of emerging literature has begun to explore how intrinsic and adaptive resistance mechanisms in Candida alter host immune system evasion and detection, which could have important implications for understanding (1) why certain resistance mechanisms and Candida species predominate in certain patient populations, (2) the biological context for understanding why high in vitro levels of resistance in may not necessarily correlate with risk of drug failure in vivo and (3) insight into effective immunotherapeutic strategies for combatting Candida resistance. Although this area of research is still in its infancy, two themes are emerging: First, the immunoevasion and intracellular persistence of C. glabrata may be a key factor in the capability of this species to persist in the course of multiple antifungal treatments and develop multidrug resistance. Second, changes in the cell wall associated with antifungal resistance often favor evasion for the host immune response.

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