The spectrum of fungi that infects humans

Julia R. Köhler, Arturo Casadevall, John Perfect

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Few among the millions of fungal species fulfill four basic conditions necessary to infect humans: high temperature tolerance, ability to invade the human host, lysis and absorption of human tissue, and resistance to the human immune system. In previously healthy individuals, invasive fungal disease is rare because animals’sophisticated immune systems evolved in constant response to fungal challenges. In contrast, fungal diseases occur frequently in immunocompromised patients. Paradoxically, successes of modern medicine have put increasing numbers of patients at risk for invasive fungal infections. Uncontrolled HIV infection additionally makes millions vulnerable to lethal fungal diseases. A concerted scientific and social effort is needed to meet these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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