Research Topic

Immunity to Fungal Infections: Insights from the Innate Immune Recognition and Antifungal Effector Mechanisms

About this Research Topic

Fungi represent important human pathogens and are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. Immunosuppression is a major risk factor for the development of severe fungal infections. Particularly, deficiencies in the effector functions of leukocytes are associated with severe invasive fungal infections which often result in great mortality. In this context, the recognition of fungal molecules by Pattern Recognition Receptors such as Toll-Like Receptors, C- Type Lectin Receptors and Nod Like Receptors is critical for the activation of effector responses by macrophages, neutrophils and other immune cells. Paradoxically, strong inflammatory responses also contribute to tissue damage and considerable pathology in fungal infections. Thus, knowledge of the mechanisms playing a role on the initiation and modulation of innate immune responses is fundamental for the development of new therapeutic approaches for fungal diseases.

Management of invasive fungal infections is a big concern. Many aspects contribute to the difficulties in the therapy of invasive fungal infections, including the high prevalence of severe mycoses in immunocompromised individuals, extensive immunopathology, worrisome low efficacy of antifungal therapy and the emergence of fungal pathogens intrinsically resistant to antifungal drugs, such as Scedosporium apiospermum and Candida auris. Thus, immunotherapy has been considered as a new approach to the management of systemic mycoses, including the use of cytokines, such as G-CSF, GM-CSF and IFN-γ, and transfusion of neutrophils.

This Research Topic intends to instigate the discussion and presentation of new relevant research about the innate immune recognition of fungal pathogens, immunopathogenesis of fungal infections and antifungal effector mechanisms.

This Research Topic will include but is not limited to:

 Investigations about the mechanisms of recognition of fungal pathogens by leukocytes, including the characterization of Pattern Recognition Receptors and fungal molecules involved in the activation of immune responses

 Characterization of the effector responses of leukocytes to fungal pathogens, including the characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved

 Evaluation of the immunopathogenesis and antifungal responses with a focus in the innate immune recognition of fungal pathogens and effector activity of leukocytes

 Experimental models of fungal infections in the context of genetic deficiency of the innate immune response or leukocyte antifungal activity are welcome

 Investigations about immune evasion of fungal pathogens, particularly using genetic approaches to characterize fungal factors of virulence are also of interest


Keywords: fungal pathogens, pattern recognition receptors, leukocytes, immunopathogenesis, immune evasion


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Fungi represent important human pathogens and are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. Immunosuppression is a major risk factor for the development of severe fungal infections. Particularly, deficiencies in the effector functions of leukocytes are associated with severe invasive fungal infections which often result in great mortality. In this context, the recognition of fungal molecules by Pattern Recognition Receptors such as Toll-Like Receptors, C- Type Lectin Receptors and Nod Like Receptors is critical for the activation of effector responses by macrophages, neutrophils and other immune cells. Paradoxically, strong inflammatory responses also contribute to tissue damage and considerable pathology in fungal infections. Thus, knowledge of the mechanisms playing a role on the initiation and modulation of innate immune responses is fundamental for the development of new therapeutic approaches for fungal diseases.

Management of invasive fungal infections is a big concern. Many aspects contribute to the difficulties in the therapy of invasive fungal infections, including the high prevalence of severe mycoses in immunocompromised individuals, extensive immunopathology, worrisome low efficacy of antifungal therapy and the emergence of fungal pathogens intrinsically resistant to antifungal drugs, such as Scedosporium apiospermum and Candida auris. Thus, immunotherapy has been considered as a new approach to the management of systemic mycoses, including the use of cytokines, such as G-CSF, GM-CSF and IFN-γ, and transfusion of neutrophils.

This Research Topic intends to instigate the discussion and presentation of new relevant research about the innate immune recognition of fungal pathogens, immunopathogenesis of fungal infections and antifungal effector mechanisms.

This Research Topic will include but is not limited to:

 Investigations about the mechanisms of recognition of fungal pathogens by leukocytes, including the characterization of Pattern Recognition Receptors and fungal molecules involved in the activation of immune responses

 Characterization of the effector responses of leukocytes to fungal pathogens, including the characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved

 Evaluation of the immunopathogenesis and antifungal responses with a focus in the innate immune recognition of fungal pathogens and effector activity of leukocytes

 Experimental models of fungal infections in the context of genetic deficiency of the innate immune response or leukocyte antifungal activity are welcome

 Investigations about immune evasion of fungal pathogens, particularly using genetic approaches to characterize fungal factors of virulence are also of interest


Keywords: fungal pathogens, pattern recognition receptors, leukocytes, immunopathogenesis, immune evasion


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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