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Blood. 2011 Nov 17;118(20):5416-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-07-366526. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Mucorales-specific T cells emerge in the course of invasive mucormycosis and may be used as a surrogate diagnostic marker in high-risk patients.

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Section of Haematology, Department of Oncology, Haematology and Respiratory Diseases, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy;


Mucorales-specific T cells were investigated in 28 hematologic patients during the course of their treatment. Three developed proven invasive mucormycosis (IM), 17 had infections of known origin but other than IM, and 8 never had fever during the period of observation. Mucorales-specific T cells could be detected only in patients with IM, both at diagnosis and throughout the entire course of the IM, but neither before nor for long after resolution of the infection. Such T cells predominantly produced IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-10, and to a lesser extent IL-17 and belonged to either CD4(+) or CD8(+) subsets. The specific T cells that produced IFN-γ were able to directly induce damage to Mucorales hyphae. None of the 25 patients without IM had Mucorales-specific T cells. Specific T cells contribute to human immune responses against fungi of the order Mucorales and could be evaluated as a surrogate diagnostic marker of IM.

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