The Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus, Host Defense Mechanisms, and the Development of AFMP4 Antigen as a Vaccine
Pol J Microbiol. 2021 Mar;70(1):3-11. doi: 10.33073/pjm-2021-003. Epub 2021 Mar 9.
Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the ubiquitous fungi with airborne conidia, which accounts for most aspergillosis cases. In immunocompetent hosts, the inhaled conidia are rapidly eliminated. However, immunocompromised or immunodeficient hosts are particularly vulnerable to most Aspergillus infections and invasive aspergillosis (IA), with mortality from 50% to 95%. Despite the improvement of antifungal drugs over the last few decades, the therapeutic effect for IA patients is still limited and does not provide significant survival benefits. The drawbacks of antifungal drugs such as side effects, antifungal drug resistance, and the high cost of antifungal drugs highlight the importance of finding novel therapeutic and preventive approaches to fight against IA. In this article, we systemically addressed the pathogenic mechanisms, defense mechanisms against A. fumigatus, the immune response, molecular aspects of host evasion, and vaccines’ current development against aspergillosis, particularly those based on AFMP4 protein, which might be a promising antigen for the development of anti-A. fumigatus vaccines.