Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 38, Issue 2–3, pp 169–177 | Cite as

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Autoimmunity, and Vitamin D

  • Yinon Shapira
  • Nancy Agmon-Levin
  • Yehuda Shoenfeld


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.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis Vitamin D Vitamin D receptor Innate immunity Autoimmune disease TB 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yinon Shapira
    • 1
  • Nancy Agmon-Levin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yehuda Shoenfeld
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Autoimmune DiseasesChaim Sheba Medical CenterTel-HashomerIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Medicine ‘B’Chaim Sheba Medical CenterTel-HashomerIsrael
  3. 3.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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