Fungi are an important part of the microbiota in healthy barrier tissues. Fungal dysbiosis in turn is associated with local and distal inflammatory diseases. Recent advances have shed light on the antigen-specific IL-17-dependent mechanisms that regulate fungal commensalism and prevent fungal overgrowth during homeostasis. Progress in our understanding of species-specific differences in fungus-host interactions provides new hypotheses of why Candida albicans-targeting T cells exceed those directed against other fungal species in the human T cell repertoire. Importantly, C. albicans-specific Th17 cells can also contribute to immune pathology in distant organs such as the lung via cross-reaction with heterologous antigens.