Chapter 13. Taking a Break: Host-Fungi in a Distance Relationship


Pedro H. M. Bürgel, Lucas de O. Las-Casas and Anamelia L. Bocca
Laboratory of Applied Immunology, Institute of Biology, University of Brasília, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil

Part of the book: The Book of Fungal Pathogens


This chapter will explore the main mechanisms used by fungal pathogens to interfere with the optimal immune response developed by the host, focusing mainly on molecules that are freely secreted or encompassed by vesicles. The emphasis will be on two important systemic pathogens: Cryptococcus neoformans and Fonsecea sp. Severe systemic infections caused by fungal pathogens have increased in numbers and clinical importance in the last decades. The rise in immunocompromised individuals is a key factor in this matter, as seen lately in COVID-affected patients receiving immunosuppressive treatment and a higher correlation with fungal infections. Regarding host-pathogen interaction, there is increasing evidence in the literature that shows a vital role of secreted molecules in the course of opportunistic fungal infection. Ultimately, the capacity to externalize potential virulence factors can help the pathogen in several ways, for example evading immune cells, controlling inflammation kinetics, and enhancing dissemination into deeper tissues.

Keywords: cryptococcus, fonsecaea, cryptococcosis, chromoblastomycosis, secreted molecules, extracellular vesicles


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