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Vitamin D fights some viral infections – Jan 2019

The interplay between vitamin D and viral infections

Rev Med Virol. 2019;e2032 https://doi.org/10.1002/rmv.2032
Majid Teymoori-Rad,Fazel Shokri,Vahid Salimi,Sayed Mahdi Marashi

The pleiotropic role of vitamin D has been explored over the past decades and there is compelling evidence for an epidemiological association between poor vitamin D status and a variety of diseases. While the potential anti-viral effect of vitamin D has recently been described, the underlying mechanisms by which vitamin D deficiency could contribute to viral disease development remain poorly understood. The possible interactions between viral infections and vitamin D appear to be more complex than previously thought.
Recent findings indicate a complex interplay between viral infections and vitamin D, including the

  • induction of anti-viral state,
  • functional immunoregulatory features,
  • interaction with cellular and viral factors,
  • induction of autophagy and apoptosis, and
  • genetic and epigenetic alterations.

While crosstalk between vitamin D and intracellular signalling pathways may provide an essential modulatory effect on viral gene transcription, the immunomodulatory effect of vitamin D on viral infections appears to be transient. The interplay between viral infections and vitamin D remains an intriguing concept, and the global imprint that vitamin D can have on the immune signature in the context of viral infections is an area of growing interest.
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