The release of fungal cells following macrophage phagocytosis, called non- lytic expulsion, is reported for several fungal pathogens. On one hand, non-lytic expulsion may benefit the fungus in escaping the microbicidal environment of the phagosome. On the other hand, the macrophage could profit in terms of avoiding its own lysis and being able to undergo prolifer- ation. To analyse the causes of non-lytic expulsion and the relevance of macrophage proliferation in the macrophage– Candida albicans interaction, we employ Evolutionary Game Theory and dynamic optimization in a sequential manner. We establish a game-theoretical model describing the different strategies of the two players after phagocytosis. Depending on the parameter values, we find four different Nash equilibria and determine the influence of the systems state of the host upon the game. As our Nash equilibria are a direct consequence of the model parameterization, we can depict several biological scenarios. A parameter region, where the host response is robust against the fungal infection, is determined. We further apply dynamic optimization to analyse whether macrophage mitosis is rel- evant in the host–pathogen interaction of macrophages and C. albicans . For this, we study the population dynamics of the macrophage– C. albicans interactions and the corresponding optimal controls for the macrophages, indicating the best macrophage strategy of switching from proliferation to attacking fungal cells.