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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 102934, 7 pages
Review Article

Immunological Aspects of Candida and Aspergillus Systemic Fungal Infections

1Medical Writer, Goldammerweg 4, 91301 Forchheim, Germany
2University Hospital of Munich-Großhadern, 81377 Munich, Germany
3Department of Hematology, Hemostaseology and Stem Cell Transplantation, University of Hannover, 30625 Hannover, Germany
4Medical Clinic II, University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany
5Department of Hematology, Charité, Campus Benjamin Franklin, 12203 Berlin, Germany

Received 26 April 2012; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editor: Massimiliano Lanzafame

Copyright © 2013 Christoph Mueller-Loebnitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patients with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) have a high risk of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) even after neutrophil regeneration. Immunological aspects might play a very important role in the IFI development in these patients. Some data are available supporting the identification of high-risk patients with IFI for example patients receiving stem cells from TLR4 haplotype S4 positive donors. Key defense mechanisms against IFI include the activation of neutrophils, the phagocytosis of germinating conidia by dendritic cells, and the fight of the cells of the innate immunity such as monocytes and natural killer cells against germlings and hyphae. Furthermore, immunosuppressive drugs interact with immune effector cells influencing the specific fungal immune defense and antimycotic drugs might interact with immune response. Based on the current knowledge on immunological mechanism in Aspergillus fumigatus, the first approaches of an immunotherapy using human T cells are in development. This might be an option for the future of aspergillosis patients having a poor prognosis with conventional treatment.