Tuberculosis and vitamin D

May 2014
Marmara Medical Journal;May2014, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p85
Academic Journal
Tuberculosis (TB) is still highly prevalent world-wide accounting for over one million deaths annually. Especially the multi drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis necessitates the development of new agents to enhance the response to antimicrobial therapy for active TB. In the pre-antibiotic era, vitamin D was used to treat TB. However, after the development of antituberculosis agents, it lost its importance . Recently, its active metabolite , 1,25-dihydoxyvitamin D, was shown to enhance the immune response to mycobacteria. Vitamin D does not have a direct killing effect but 1,25-dihydoxyvitamin D, is a modulater of the immune system. The synthesis of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D promotes the production of endogen defensin and cathelicidin. These products have a direct lethal effect on bacteria and intracellular microorganisms like M. tuberculosis. In this review, the role of vitamin D in host resistance to M.tuberculosis infection and its effect for supplementation therapy is discussed.


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