Clin Dev Immunol. 2012;2012:430972. doi: 10.1155/2012/430972. Epub 2012 Jul 5.
Battersby AJ, Kampmann B, Burl S.
Academic Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, St. Mary's Campus, Wright Fleming Building, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK. a.battersby at imperial.ac.uk
A potential role for vitamin D as a therapeutic immunomodulator in tuberculosis (TB) has been recognised for over 150 years, but has only recently returned to the centre of the research arena due to the increasing awareness of the global vitamin D deficiency epidemic. As early as birth a child is often deficient in vitamin D, which may not only affect their bone metabolism but also modulate their immune function, contributing to the increased susceptibility to many infections seen early in life. Recent studies have begun to explain the mechanisms by which vitamin D affects immunity. Antimicrobial peptides are induced in conjunction with stimulation of innate pattern recognition receptors enhancing immunity to particular infections. In contrast the role of vitamin D within the adaptive immune response appears to be more regulatory in function, perhaps as a mechanism to reduce unwanted inflammation. In this paper we focus on the effect of vitamin D on immunity to TB. Where much of the attention has been paid by past reviews to the role of vitamin D in adult TB patients, this paper, where possible, focuses on research in paediatric populations.
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