Invasive fungal infections in the immunocompromised host: Mechanistic insights in an era of changing immunotherapeutics.


Eades CP, Armstrong-James DPH
Med Mycol. 2019 Jun 1;57(Supplement_3):S307-S317.


The use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the treatment of malignant and inflammatory disorders is beset by considerable adverse effects related to nonspecific cytotoxicity. Accordingly, a mechanistic approach to therapeutics has evolved in recent times with small molecular inhibitors of intracellular signaling pathways involved in disease pathogenesis being developed for clinical use, some with unparalleled efficacy and tolerability. Nevertheless, there are emerging concerns regarding an association with certain small molecular inhibitors and opportunistic infections, including invasive fungal diseases. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the molecular targets of such agents play fundamental and multifaceted roles in orchestrating innate and adaptive immune responses. Nevertheless, some small molecular inhibitors appear to possess intrinsic antifungal activity and may therefore represent novel therapeutic options in future. This is particularly important given that antifungal resistance is a significant, emerging concern. This paper is a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art in the molecular immunology to fungal pathogens as applied to existing and emerging small molecular inhibitors.