Genetic susceptibility to Candida infections

Authors

  • Sanne P. Smeekens,

    1. Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (N4i), Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Frank L. van de Veerdonk,

    1. Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (N4i), Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Bart Jan Kullberg,

    1. Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (N4i), Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • Mihai G. Netea

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (N4i), Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • Tel: +31 24 36 18819; Fax: +31 24 35 41734

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Abstract

Candida spp. are medically important fungi causing severe mucosal and life-threatening invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised hosts. However, not all individuals at risk develop Candida infections, and it is believed that genetic variation plays an important role in host susceptibility. On the one hand, severe fungal infections are associated with monogenic primary immunodeficiencies such as defects in STAT1, STAT3 or CARD9, recently discovered as novel clinical entities. On the other hand, more common polymorphisms in genes of the immune system have also been associated with fungal infections such as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis and candidemia. The discovery of the genetic susceptibility to Candida infections can lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease, as well as to the design of novel immunotherapeutic strategies. This review is part of the review series on host-pathogen interactions. See more reviews from this series.

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