The theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman outlined in his 1959 lecture, "There's plenty of room at the bottom", the enormous possibility of producing and visualising things at smaller scales. The advent of advanced scanning and transmission electron microscopy and high-resolution microscopy has begun to open the door to visualise host-pathogen interactions at smaller scales, and spinning disc confocal and two-photon microscopy has improved our ability to study these events in real time in three dimensions. The aim of this review is to illustrate some of the advances in understanding host-fungal interactions that have been made in recent years in particular those relating to the interactions of live fungal pathogens with phagocytes. Dynamic imaging of host-pathogen interactions has recently revealed novel detail and unsuspected mechanistic insights, facilitating the dissection of the phagocytic process into its component parts. Here, we will highlight advances in our knowledge of host-fungal pathogen interactions, including the specific effects of fungal cell viability, cell wall composition and morphogenesis on the phagocytic process and try to define the relative contributions of neutrophils and macrophages to the clearance of fungal pathogens in vitro and the infected host.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Wellcome Trust (080088, 086827, 075470 and 099215) including a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology 097377 and FP7-2007–2013 grant agreement HEALTH-F2-2010-260338–ALLFUN to NARG.
- live imaging