Host immune defense upon fungal infections with mucorales: Pathogen-immune cell interactions as drivers of inflammatory responses.
During the last few decades, mucormycosis has emerged as one of the most common fungal infections, following candidiasis and aspergillosis. The fungal order responsible for causing mucormycosis is the Mucorales. The main hallmarks of this infection include the invasion of blood vessels, infarction, thrombosis, and tissue necrosis, which are exhibited at the latest stages of the infection. Therefore, the diagnosis is often delayed, and the rapid progression of the infection severely endangers the life of people suffering from diabetes mellitus, hematological malignancies, or organ transplantation. Given the fact that mortality rates for mucormycosis range from 40 to 80%, early diagnosis and novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed to battle the infection. However, compared to other fungal infections, little is known about the host immune response against Mucorales and the influence of inflammatory processes on the resolution of the infection. Hence, in this review, we summarized our current understanding of the interplay among pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and the host-immune cells in response to mucoralean fungi, as well as their potential use for immunotherapies.