Antibodies represent an important element in the adaptive immune response and a major tool to eliminate microbial pathogens. For many bacterial and viral infections, efficient vaccines exist, but not for fungal pathogens. For a long time, antibodies have been assumed to be of minor importance for a successful clearance of fungal infections; however this perception has been challenged by a large number of studies over the last three decades. In this review, we focus on the potential therapeutic and prophylactic use of monoclonal antibodies. Since systemic mycoses normally occur in severely immunocompromised patients, a passive immunization using monoclonal antibodies is a promising approach to directly attack the fungal pathogen and/or to activate and strengthen the residual antifungal immune response in these patients.
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