The spectrum of fungi that infects humans.
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.
Köhler, JR; Casadevall, A; Perfect, J
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