Type III interferon is a critical regulator of innate antifungal immunity

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Science Immunology  06 Oct 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 16, eaan5357
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan5357

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Type III interferons prime neutrophils

Type I interferons (IFNs) have a well-established role in antiviral immunity. Here, Espinosa et al. demonstrate that type III IFNs (IFN-λs) play an essential role in driving antifungal responses. By studying immune responses to Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) in mice lacking receptors for type I or type III IFNs, the authors found monocyte-derived type I IFNs to be key drivers of IFN-λ production. Although they could not pin down the sources of IFN-λ, they have identified neutrophils as the functional target of IFN-λs. Selective deletion of IFN-λ receptor in neutrophils caused mice to succumb to Af infection. By studying immune responses to Af, the authors have uncovered the importance of type III IFNs in antifungal immunity.