Recognition of fungal pathogens by Toll-like receptors

M. G. Netea, J. W. M. Van der Meer and B.-J. Kullberg

Author address: 

Department of Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Nijmegen University Center for Infectious Diseases, The Netherlands


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been identified as a major class of pattern-recognition receptors. Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by TLRs, either alone or in heterodimerization with other TLR or non-TLR receptors, induces signals responsible for the activation of innate immune response. Recent studies have demonstrated a crucial involvement of TLRs in the recognition of fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. By studying fungal infection in knock-out mice deficient in either TLRs or TLR-associated adaptor molecules, it appeared that specific TLRs such as TLR2 and TLR4 play differential roles in the activation of the various arms of the innate immune response. In addition, interaction between TLRs and non-TLR receptors such as the lectin-like receptors dectin-1, mannose receptor, and DC-SIGN, are crucial for the effective activation of the normal host defense. Recent data also suggest that TLRs offer escape mechanisms to certain pathogenic microorganisms, especially through TLR2-driven induction of antiinflamatory cytokines. These new data have substantially increased our knowledge of the recognition of fungal pathogens, and this remains one of the most active area of research in the field of fungal infections.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

2nd Trends in Medical Mycology
    • TIMM 2nd (2010)