Antimicrobial and Immune-Modulatory Effects of Vitamin D Provide Promising Antibiotics-Independent Approaches to Tackle Bacterial Infections – Lessons Learnt from a Literature Survey
Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2019 Oct 3; 9(3): 80–87. doi: 10.1556/1886.2019.00014
Ainoosh Golpour, Stefan Bereswill, and Markus M. Heimesaat*
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Antimicrobial multidrug-resistance (MDR) constitutes an emerging threat to global health and makes the effective prevention and treatment of many, particularly severe infections challenging, if not impossible. Many antibiotic classes have lost antimicrobial efficacy against a plethora of infectious agents including bacterial species due to microbial acquisition of distinct resistance genes. Hence, the development of novel anti-infectious intervention strategies including antibiotic-independent approaches is urgently needed.
Vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin D derivates might be such promising molecular candidates to combat infections caused by bacteria including MDR strains. Using the Pubmed database, we therefore performed an in-depth literature survey, searching for publications on the antimicrobial effect of vitamin D directed against bacteria including MDR strains. In vitro and clinical studies between 2009 and 2019 revealed that vitamin D does, in fact, possess antimicrobial properties against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, whereas conflicting results could be obtained from in vivo studies. Taken together, the potential anti-infectious effects for the antibiotic-independent application of vitamin D and/or an adjunct therapy in combination with antibiotic compounds directed against infectious diseases such as
- H. pylori infections, or
- skin diseases,
for instance, should be considered and further investigated in more detail.