Mycobacterium tuberculosis, autoimmunity, and vitamin D

Yinon Shapira, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Yehuda Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Current anti-TB chemotherapies, although effective, are associated with side effects and are limited in treating drug-resistant strands. Autoimmune diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, with a growing mass of evidence implicating infections (e.g., TB) as their triggers. The burden of TB might further increase by reactivation threats hovering over millions harboring latent infection, thus, calling for novel approaches for this dire ailment. In recent years, the non-calcemic physiological actions of vitamin D have drawn a great deal of attention. In this review, we will focus on the role of vitamin D in the innate immune defense against TB on the one hand and conversely on the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D on autoimmunity. Taken together, the suggested dual role of vitamin D in treating TB infection and possibly preventing associated autoimmunity will constitute the basis of the current review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Innate immunity
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • TB
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin dreceptor


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