Innate and adaptive immunity in Candida albicans infections and saprophytism
+ Author Affiliations
Microbiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy
Correspondence: Luigina Romani, M.D., Ph.D., Microbiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Underlying acquired immunity to the fungus Candida albicans is usually present in adult immunocompetent individuals and is presumed to prevent mucosal colonization progressing to symptomatic infection. Exploration of immunological events leading to Candida resistance or susceptibility has indicated the central role of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the relative contribution of which may vary depending on the site of the primary infection. Nevertheless, acquired resistance to infection results from the development of Th1 responses. Cytokines produced by Th1 cells activate phagocytic cells to a candidacidal state. In contrast, cytokines produced by Th2 cells inhibit Th1 development and deactivate phagocytic effector cells. Because reciprocal influences have been recognized between innate and adaptive Th immunity, it appears that an integrated immune response determines the life-long commensalism of the fungus at the mucosal level, as well as the transition from mucosal saprophyte to pathogen.