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Virulence. 2012 Nov 15;3(7):635-46. doi: 10.4161/viru.22295. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

The role of dendritic cells in the innate recognition of pathogenic fungi (A. fumigatus, C. neoformans and C. albicans).

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Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases and Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the bridge between the innate and adaptive immune system. DCs are responsible for sensing and patrolling the environment, initiating a host response and instructing the proper adaptive immune response against pathogens. Recent advances in medical treatments have led to increased use of immunosuppressive drugs, leading to the emergence of fungal species that cause life-threatening infections in humans. Three of these opportunistic fungal pathogens: Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans pose the biggest concern for the immune-compromised host. Here we will review the interactions between DCs and these fungal pathogens, the receptors expressed on DCs that mediate these responses and the signaling mechanisms that shape the adaptive host response.


Toll-like receptors; conventional dendritic cells; fungi; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; scavenger receptors

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