PAMPs of the Fungal Cell Wall and Mammalian PRRs

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 425)


Fungi are opportunistic pathogens that infect immunocompromised patients and are responsible for an estimated 1.5 million deaths every year. The antifungal innate immune response is mediated through the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by the host’s pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). PRRs are immune receptors that ensure the internalisation and the killing of fungal pathogens. They also mount the inflammatory response, which contributes to initiate and polarise the adaptive response, controlled by lymphocytes. Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are required to control fungal infections. The immune recognition of fungal pathogen primarily occurs at the interface between the membrane of innate immune cells and the fungal cell wall, which contains a number of PAMPs. This chapter will focus on describing the main mammalian PRRs that have been shown to bind to PAMPs from the fungal cell wall of the four main fungal pathogens: Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans and Pneumocystis jirovecii. We will describe these receptors, their functions and ligands to provide the reader with an overview of how the immune system recognises fungal pathogens and responds to them.



We thank the Wellcome Trust (102705) and the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology and the University of Exeter (MR/N006364/2) for funding.


All figures were made using


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at University of ExeterExeterUK

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