Fungal diseases have emerged as major causes of morbidity and mortality in healthy and immune-compromised individuals. A fine-tuned immune response is critical, as either insufficient or exaggerated responses compromise the host's ability to eradicate fungal infection. Remarkable advances have been made in our understanding of the innate and adaptive components underlying the protective and non-protective mechanisms of immunity. Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that the indigenous microbiota that inhabits the human body shapes the host immune system and renders fungal interaction with the host more complex than previously appreciated. These discoveries allow a better understanding of the risk factors predisposing to disease susceptibility, including genetic variants of immune-related genes, and provide a means to develop novel approaches for immunotherapy and vaccination. Similarly important is the contribution of fungi to the plasticity of the immune system, from tolerance to autoimmunity. This conference will bring together the world's leading researchers investigating antifungal immunity, in a setting ideal for promoting cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations. This will provide a compelling and informative meeting covering the latest advances in the field and the most pressing issues to be tackled.
Prof. Dr. Oliver Kurzai, ZIK Septomics, Jena
Addressing the genetic risk for invasive aspergillosis - from single loci to genome wide association