Neutrophil swarming delays the growth of clusters of pathogenic fungi

Hopke Alex, Allison Scherer, Samantha Kreuzburg, Michael S. Abers, Christa S. Zerbe, Mary C. Dinauer, Michael K. Mansour, Daniel Irimia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Neutrophils employ several mechanisms to restrict fungi, including the action of enzymes such as myeloperoxidase (MPO) or NADPH oxidase, and the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Moreover, they cooperate, forming “swarms” to attack fungi that are larger than individual neutrophils. Here, we designed an assay for studying how these mechanisms work together and contribute to neutrophil's ability to contain clusters of live Candida. We find that neutrophil swarming over Candida clusters delays germination through the action of MPO and NADPH oxidase, and restricts fungal growth through NET release within the swarm. In comparison with neutrophils from healthy subjects, those from patients with chronic granulomatous disease produce larger swarms against Candida, but their release of NETs is delayed, resulting in impaired control of fungal growth. We also show that granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (GCSF and GM-CSF) enhance swarming and neutrophil ability to restrict fungal growth, even during treatment with chemical inhibitors that disrupt neutrophil function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2031
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


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