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2.
J Intern Med ; 292(4): 604-626, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922998

ABSTRACT

Vitamin D, when activated to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, is a steroid hormone that induces responses in several hundred genes, including many involved in immune responses to infection. Without supplementation, people living in temperate zones commonly become deficient in the precursor form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, during winter, as do people who receive less sunlight exposure or those with darker skin pigmentation. Studies performed pre-COVID-19 have shown significant but modest reduction in upper respiratory infections in people receiving regular daily vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency, like the risk of severe COVID-19, is linked with darker skin colour and also with obesity. Greater risk from COVID-19 has been associated with reduced ultraviolet exposure. Various studies have examined serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, either historical or current, in patients with COVID-19. The results of these studies have varied but the majority have shown an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of COVID-19 illness or severity. Interventional studies of vitamin D supplementation have so far been inconclusive. Trial protocols commonly allow control groups to receive low-dose supplementation that may be adequate for many. The effects of vitamin D supplementation on disease severity in patients with existing COVID-19 are further complicated by the frequent use of large bolus dose vitamin D to achieve rapid effects, even though this approach has been shown to be ineffective in other settings. As the pandemic passes into its third year, a substantial role of vitamin D deficiency in determining the risk from COVID-19 remains possible but unproven.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vitamin D Deficiency , Dietary Supplements , Hormones , Humans , Sunlight , Vitamin D , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamins/therapeutic use
3.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695160

ABSTRACT

The tuberculosis vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), also affords protection against non-tuberculous diseases attributable to heterologous immune mechanisms such as trained innate immunity, activation of non-conventional T-cells, and cross-reactive adaptive immunity. Aerosol vaccine delivery can target immune responses toward the primary site of infection for a respiratory pathogen. Therefore, we hypothesised that aerosol delivery of BCG would enhance cross-protective action against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and be a deployable intervention against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Immune parameters were monitored in vaccinated and unvaccinated rhesus macaques for 28 days following aerosol BCG vaccination. High-dose SARS-CoV-2 challenge was applied by intranasal and intrabronchial instillation and animals culled 6–8 days later for assessment of viral, disease, and immunological parameters. Mycobacteria-specific cell-mediated immune responses were detected following aerosol BCG vaccination, but SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular- and antibody-mediated immunity was only measured following challenge. Early secretion of cytokine and chemokine markers associated with the innate cellular and adaptive antiviral immune response was detected following SARS-CoV-2 challenge in vaccinated animals, at concentrations that exceeded titres measured in unvaccinated macaques. Classical CD14+ monocytes and Vδ2 γδ T-cells quantified by whole-blood immunophenotyping increased rapidly in vaccinated animals following SARS-CoV-2 challenge, indicating a priming of innate immune cells and non-conventional T-cell populations. However, viral RNA quantified in nasal and pharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and tissue samples collected at necropsy was equivalent in vaccinated and unvaccinated animals, and in-life CT imaging and histopathology scoring applied to pulmonary tissue sections indicated that the disease induced by SARS-CoV-2 challenge was comparable between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Hence, aerosol BCG vaccination did not induce, or enhance the induction of, SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive adaptive cellular or humoral immunity, although an influence of BCG vaccination on the subsequent immune response to SARS-CoV-2 challenge was apparent in immune signatures indicative of trained innate immune mechanisms and primed unconventional T-cell populations. Nevertheless, aerosol BCG vaccination did not enhance the initial clearance of virus, nor reduce the occurrence of early disease pathology after high dose SARS-CoV-2 challenge. However, the heterologous immune mechanisms primed by BCG vaccination could contribute to the moderation of COVID-19 disease severity in more susceptible species following natural infection.

4.
Clin Med (Lond) ; 21(2): e144-e149, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1089178

ABSTRACT

The value of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment or prevention of various conditions is often viewed with scepticism as a result of contradictory results of randomised trials. It is now becoming apparent that there is a pattern to these inconsistencies. A recent large trial has shown that high-dose intermittent bolus vitamin D therapy is ineffective at preventing rickets - the condition that is most unequivocally caused by vitamin D deficiency. There is a plausible biological explanation since high-dose bolus replacement induces long-term expression of the catabolic enzyme 24-hydroxylase and fibroblast growth factor 23, both of which have vitamin D inactivating effects. Meta-analyses of vitamin D supplementation in prevention of acute respiratory infection and trials in tuberculosis and other conditions also support efficacy of low dose daily maintenance rather than intermittent bolus dosing. This is particularly relevant during the current COVID-19 pandemic given the well-documented associations between COVID-19 risk and vitamin D deficiency. We would urge that clinicians take note of these findings and give strong support to widespread use of daily vitamin D supplementation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dietary Supplements , Respiratory Tract Infections , Rickets , Vitamin D Deficiency , Vitamin D , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Rickets/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/therapeutic use , Vitamin D Deficiency/drug therapy , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamin D Deficiency/prevention & control
5.
R Soc Open Sci ; 7(12): 201912, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003869

ABSTRACT

Vitamin D is a hormone that acts on many genes expressed by immune cells. Evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with COVID-19 severity is circumstantial but considerable-links with ethnicity, obesity, institutionalization; latitude and ultraviolet exposure; increased lung damage in experimental models; associations with COVID-19 severity in hospitalized patients. Vitamin D deficiency is common but readily preventable by supplementation that is very safe and cheap. A target blood level of at least 50 nmol l-1, as indicated by the US National Academy of Medicine and by the European Food Safety Authority, is supported by evidence. This would require supplementation with 800 IU/day (not 400 IU/day as currently recommended in UK) to bring most people up to target. Randomized placebo-controlled trials of vitamin D in the community are unlikely to complete until spring 2021-although we note the positive results from Spain of a randomized trial of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3 or calcifediol) in hospitalized patients. We urge UK and other governments to recommend vitamin D supplementation at 800-1000 IU/day for all, making it clear that this is to help optimize immune health and not solely for bone and muscle health. This should be mandated for prescription in care homes, prisons and other institutions where people are likely to have been indoors for much of the summer. Adults likely to be deficient should consider taking a higher dose, e.g. 4000 IU/day for the first four weeks before reducing to 800 IU-1000 IU/day. People admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 should have their vitamin D status checked and/or supplemented and consideration should be given to testing high-dose calcifediol in the RECOVERY trial. We feel this should be pursued with great urgency. Vitamin D levels in the UK will be falling from October onwards as we head into winter. There seems nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.

6.
Clin Med (Lond) ; 21(1): e48-e51, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-914784

ABSTRACT

There is growing evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with risk of COVID-19. It is therefore distressing that there is major disagreement about the optimal serum level for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and appropriate supplement dose. The UK Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition has set the lowest level for defining sufficiency (10 ng/ml or 25 nmol/L) of any national advisory body or scientific society and consequently recommends supplementation with 10 micrograms (400 IU) per day. We have searched for published evidence to support this but not found it. There is considerable evidence to support the higher level for sufficiency (20 ng/ml or 50 nmol/L) recommended by the European Food Safety Authority and the American Institute of Medicine and hence greater supplementation (20 micrograms or 800 IU per day). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations in the UK typically fall by around 50% through winter. We believe that governments should urgently recommend supplementation with 20-25 micrograms (800-1,000 IU) per day.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Vitamin D Deficiency/prevention & control , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , Vitamin D/administration & dosage , Dietary Supplements , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamins/administration & dosage
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