All living organisms require certain micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese and copper for cellular function and growth. For human pathogens however, the maintenance of metal ion homeostasis is particularly challenging. This is because the mammalian host actively enforces extremes of micronutrient availability on potential microbial invaders-processes collectively termed nutritional immunity. The role of iron sequestration in controlling microbial infections is well established and, more recently, the importance of other metals including zinc, manganese and copper has been recognised. In this chapter, we explore the nutritional immune mechanisms that defend the human body against fungal infections and the strategies that these important pathogens exploit to counteract nutritional immunity and thrive in the infected host.
- Human fungal pathogens
- Nutritional immunity