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In patients with invasive fungal diseases, there is often little cellular inflammatory response. We tested the idea that binding of the human constitutive plasma protein serum amyloid P component (SAP) (also called PTX2) to Candida albicans dampens the innate immune response to this fungus. Many pathogenic fungi have cell surface amyloid-like structures important for adhesion and biofilm formation. Human SAP bound to fungi that expressed functional cell surface amyloid, but SAP had minimal binding to fungi with reduced expression of cell surface amyloid. In the absence of SAP, phagocytosis of fungi by human macrophages was potentiated by expression of amyloid on the fungi. SAP binding to fungi inhibited their phagocytosis by macrophages. Macrophages pretreated with SAP displayed reduced fungal phagocytosis, reduced secretion of inflammatory cytokines (IFN, IL-6, and TNF), and increased secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. SAP bound to fungi or added to the medium upregulated the expression of the antiinflammatory receptor CD206 on macrophages. These findings suggest that SAP bound to amyloid-like structures on fungal cells dampens the host cellular immune response in fungal diseases such as invasive candidiasis.


This article was originally published in mBio, available at DOI: 10.1128/mBio .00218-19.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.



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