Chapter

Combating Fungal Infections

pp 347-371

Date:

Innate Immunity in Pathogenesis and Treatment of Dermatomycosis

  • Mohammad OwaisAffiliated withInterdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University Email author 
  • , Mairaj Ahmed AnsariAffiliated withInterdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University
  • , Iqbal AhmadAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural Microbiology, Aligarh Muslim University
  • , Qamar ZiaAffiliated withInterdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University
  • , Gerald PierardAffiliated withDermatopathology Department, University Hospital of Liège
  • , Arun ChauhanAffiliated withInterdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University

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Abstract

Innate and cell-mediated immunity are considered as the principal defense lines against fungal infections in humans. Most opportunistic mycoses occur in individuals with defective innate and/or adaptive cellular immunity. Skin and nail infections caused by dermatophyte fungi have become more common in recent years. The capacity of the skin (mainly stratum corneum) to resist infection depends on the innate, cutaneous production of molecules known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and expression of some AMPs further increases in response to microbial invasion. Emerging evidence suggests that some of these peptides are important to immune defense by acting not only as natural antibiotics but also as cell-signaling molecules. Cathelicidins are unique AMPs that protect the skin. Therapies targeting control of cathelicidin and other AMPs might provide new approaches in the management of infectious skin diseases. A better understanding of reciprocal regulation between innate, humoral, and adaptive immune responses in the development of an optimal antifungal immunity may lead to a clarification of the mechanisms involved in host immunity to fungal infections. In this chapter, we review some of the dermatomycosis diseases, their casual agents, the role of innate immunity in pathogenesis, and treatment.