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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Sep;23(9):672-6. Epub 2004 Aug 18.

Recognition of fungal pathogens by Toll-like receptors.

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Department of Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, Geert Grooteplein 8, P.O. Box 9101, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been identified as a major class of pattern-recognition receptors. Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by TLRs, either alone or in heterodimerization with other TLR or non-TLR receptors, induces signals responsible for the activation of the innate immune response. Recent studies have demonstrated a crucial involvement of TLRs in the recognition of fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans. Through the study of fungal infection in knock-out mice deficient in either TLRs or TLR-associated adaptor molecules, it became apparent that specific TLRs such as TLR2 and TLR4 play differential roles in the activation of the various arms of the innate immune response. Recent data also suggest that TLRs offer escape mechanisms to certain pathogenic microorganisms, especially through TLR2-driven induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines. These new data have substantially increased our knowledge of the recognition of fungal pathogens, and the study of TLRs remains one of the most active areas of research in the field of fungal infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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