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Annu Rev Immunol. 2011;29:1-21. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-030409-101229.

Innate antifungal immunity: the key role of phagocytes.

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Aberdeen Fungal Group, Section of Immunology and Infection, Division of Applied Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, United Kingdom.


Fungal diseases have emerged as significant causes of morbidity and mortality, particularly in immune-compromised individuals, prompting greater interest in understanding the mechanisms of host resistance to these pathogens. Consequently, the past few decades have seen a tremendous increase in our knowledge of the innate and adaptive components underlying the protective (and nonprotective) mechanisms of antifungal immunity. What has emerged from these studies is that phagocytic cells are essential for protection and that defects in these cells compromise the host's ability to resist fungal infection. This review covers the functions of phagocytes in innate antifungal immunity, along with selected examples of the strategies that are used by fungal pathogens to subvert these defenses.

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