UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Immunotherapy


Despite the substantial global burden of human fungal infections, there are no approved fungal vaccines to protect at risk individuals. Here, we review the progress that has been made and the challenges that lie ahead in the quest towards efficacious fungal vaccines. In mouse studies, protection has been achieved with vaccines directed against fungal pathogens, including species of Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus, that most commonly cause life-threatening human disease. Encouraging results have been obtained with vaccines composed of live-attenuated and killed fungi, crude extracts, recombinant subunit formulations, and nucleic acid vaccines. Novel adjuvants that instruct the immune system to mount the types of protective responses needed to fight mycotic infections are under development. Candidate vaccines include those that target common antigens expressed on multiple genera of fungi thereby protecting against a broad range of mycoses. Encouragingly, three vaccines have reached human clinical trials. Still, formidable obstacles must be overcome before we will have fungal vaccines licensed for human use.


Diseases, Immunology

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

DOI of Published Version



Oliveira LVN, Wang R, Specht CA, Levitz SM. Vaccines for human fungal diseases: close but still a long way to go. NPJ Vaccines. 2021 Mar 3;6(1):33. doi: 10.1038/s41541-021-00294-8. PMID: 33658522; PMCID: PMC7930017. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

NPJ vaccines

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PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.