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F1000 Med Rep. 2011;3:13. doi: 10.3410/M3-13. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Vaccines for invasive fungal infections.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center 1124 West Carson Street, Liu Vaccine Center, Torrance, CA 90502 USA.


Morbidity and mortality from invasive fungal infections remain unacceptably high despite availability of new antifungal agents, underscoring the need for more effective preventative strategies. Due to our enhanced understanding of the host defense and pathogenetic mechanisms that lead to invasive fungal infections, it should be feasible to develop vaccines targeting these infections. A common immunological theme across many vaccine candidates for invasive fungal infections has been the need to activate a cell-based, pro-inflammatory, Th1 or Th17 immune response to improve phagocytic killing of the fungi. Since neutralization of virulence factor functions has not been required for many active vaccines to function, the antigenic repertoire available for testing should not be limited to virulence factors. With expansion of our fundamental understanding of the immunology of fungal infections, the biggest barrier to development of fungal vaccines is the lack of available capital to translate discoveries made at the bench into biological agents used at the bedside. Continued education on the importance and feasibility of vaccination for such infections, combined with continued development of vaccine antigens and adjuvants, is necessary.

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