A LITERATURE REVIEW ON THE ROLE OF VITAMIN D IN HOST RESISTANCE TO INFECTION AND MEMORY

Open Access
Author:
Balasubramanian, Anand
Graduate Program:
Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Margherita Teresa Anna Cantorna, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • memory
  • host resistance
  • vitamin D
Abstract:
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient to the body and its role as a major player in calcium homeostasis has been well established. Interestingly, vitamin D has been receiving increased attention in the immunology field. 1,25D3 has been shown to ameliorate symptoms of autoimmune disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), through immunosuppression of auto reactive cells of the immune system. How this immunomodulatory capability of vitamin D could influence the outcome of an immune response in the event of an infection forms the crux of this review. A better response to an infection increases the host resistance to that infection. A robust response could be looked upon as the one that not only helps in effective and timely clearance of that infection, but also leaves a good memory repertoire in the event of a secondary infection. The immunomodulatory function of this vitamin can be addressed in two phases: Its effect on innate immunity and its effects on the adaptive immunity. The review attempts to look at studies that are targeted at the different branches of the immune system and how they could influence the behavior of these cells before, after or during the course of an infection.