Immunotherapeutic approaches to treatment of fungal diseases.
Fungal infections cause morbidity worldwide and are associated with an unacceptably high mortality despite the availability of antifungal drugs. The incidence of mycoses is rising because of the HIV pandemic and because immunomodulatory drugs are increasingly used to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. New classes of antifungal drugs have only been partly successful in improving the prognosis for patients with fungal infection. Adjunctive host-directed therapy is therefore believed to be the only option to further improve patient outcomes. Recent advances in the understanding of complex interactions between fungi and host have led to the design and exploration of novel therapeutic strategies in cytokine therapy, vaccines, and cellular immunotherapy, each of which might become viable adjuncts to existing antifungal regimens. In this report, we discuss immunotherapeutic approaches-the rationale behind their design, the challenges in their use, and the progress that is so urgently needed to overcome the devastating effect of fungal diseases.