Invasive fungal infections are associated with high mortality rates of >30% and a severe morbidity in those who survive. The increasing frequency of invasive fungal infections and the rising frequency of drug resistant fungi urge for novel preventive and therapeutic strategies. This requires however a better comprehension of the fungal pathogenesis and of the antifungal immune mechanisms of the host. Neutrophils play a key role in host defense against systemic candidiasis. This project explores how the neutrophil response to systemic infection with C. albicans is regulated. More specifically, we are interested in cytokine pathways that promote neutrophil viability and fungicidal activity in the infected tissue.
Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation
Fungicidal activity of neutrophils (Alamarblue assay, left). C. albicans-infected kidney with fungal abscesses (PAS staining, right).