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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2019 Mar 4:1-26. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2019.1584038. [Epub ahead of print]

The molecular immunology of human susceptibility to fungal diseases: lessons from single gene defects of immunity.

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a Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases; Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology), Department of Medical Microbiology, Department of Human Genetics , McGill University Health Centre - Research Institute , Montreal , QC , Canada.


Fungal diseases are a threat to human health. Therapies targeting the fungus continue to lead to disappointing results. Strategies targeting the host response represent unexplored opportunities for innovative treatments. To do so rationally requires the identification and neat delineation of critical mechanistic pathways that underpin human antifungal immunity. The study of humans with single-gene defects of the immune system, i.e. inborn errors of immunity (IEIs), provides a foundation for these paradigms. Areas covered: A systematic literature search in PubMed, Scopus, and abstracts of international congresses was performed to review the history of genetic resistance/susceptibility to fungi and identify IEIs associated with fungal diseases. Immunologic mechanisms from relevant IEIs were integrated with current definitions and understandings of mycoses to establish a framework to map out critical immunobiological pathways of human antifungal immunity. Expert opinion: Specific immune responses non-redundantly govern susceptibility to their corresponding mycoses. Defining these molecular pathways will guide the development of host-directed immunotherapies that precisely target distinct fungal diseases. These findings will pave the way for novel strategies in the treatment of these devastating infections.


Fungal immunity; genetic; human susceptibility to fungi; inborn errors of immunity; mould; mycoses; primary immunodeficiency; yeast

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