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Immunosurveillance of Candida albicans commensalism by the adaptive immune system

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The fungal microbiota (mycobiota) is an integral part of the microbial community colonizing the body surfaces and is involved in many key aspects of human physiology, while an imbalance of the fungal communities, termed fungal dysbiosis, has been described in pathologies ranging from infections to inflammatory bowel disease. Commensal organisms, such as the fungus Candida albicans, induce antigen-specific immune responses that maintain immune homeostasis. Adaptive immune mechanisms are vital in this process, while deficiencies in adaptive immunity are linked to fungal infections. We start to understand the mechanisms by which a shift in mycobiota composition, in particular in C. albicans abundance, is linked to immunopathological conditions. This review discusses the mechanisms that ensure continuous immunosurveillance of C. albicans during mucosal colonization, how these protective adaptive immune responses can also promote immunopathology, and highlight therapeutic advances against C. albicans-associated disease.

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