Nutritional Immunity and Fungal Pathogenesis: The Struggle for Micronutrients at the Host-Pathogen Interface

Dhara Malavia, Aaron Crawford, Duncan Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85–103
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Microbial Physiology
Early online date16 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017



  • Human fungal pathogens
  • Iron
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutritional immunity
  • Pathogenicity
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Physiology

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