The role played by antibodies (Abs) in the anticandidal defense has long been a matter of controversy, mostly due to the past inability to clearly define antigen specificity, the relationship between the type of immune response within the different settings of experimental and human candidiasis and, last but not least, a misunderstanding about the role of T helper cell in cell-mediated versus the humoral immunity. Contributory was also the lack of precise identification of virulence traits of the fungus which are the best candidates for a protective Ab response. In recent years, an impressive amount of experimental evidence, and also some clinical proof, have been generated which assign to Abs of defined specificity an important role in the anticandidal defense both at systemic and mucosal sites. Paradigmatic among them, Abs against defined virulence factors such as adhesins or aspartyl-proteinase enzymes, or against critical viability molecules such as β-glucan, have been detected or generated which hold great promise for immunotherapeutic interventions in humans.
Keywords: candida, candidiasis, antibodies, immunoprotection, cell wall, glucans
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