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Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with enhanced pneumococcal antibody levels in individuals with asthma

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Recent studies suggest that vitamin D modulates innate immunity and reduces the risk of microbial infections. Little is known about the role of vitamin D in antipneumococcal immunity in individuals with asthma. We determined the correlation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels and pneumococcal antibody levels in individuals with asthma, atopic dermatitis, or allergic rhinitis, and atopic sensitization status. A cross-sectional study was conducted for 21 subjects with asthma and 23 subjects without asthma. Pearson's correlation coefficient between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the number of positive serotype-specific antibody levels was calculated among individuals with and without asthma, atopic dermatitis, and/or allergic rhinitis and atopic sensitization status. The overall correlation between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and positive pneumococcal antibody levels in all subjects regardless of asthma was not significant (r = −0.14; p = 0.38). Stratified analysis results showed that there was a positive correlation between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and positive pneumococcal antibody levels in asthmatic patients (r = 0.45; p < 0.05) and an inverse correlation was observed in nonasthmatic patients (r = −0.53; p < 0.05). These trends were similar for subjects with and without atopic dermatitis and/or allergic rhinitis (r = 0.58 and p = 0.008 versus r = −0.63 and p = 0.001). Despite similar trends in the correlation between serum 25(OH)D and pneumococcal antibody concentrations among those with and without atopic sensitization status (r = 0.27 and p = 0.19 versus r = −0.41 and p = 0.08), they did not reach statistical significance. The 25(OH)D may enhance humoral immunity against Streptococcus pneumonia in subjects with atopic conditions but not without atopic conditions. Atopic conditions may have an important effect modifier in the relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and immune function.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; Asthma; allergic rhinitis; atopic dermatitis; atopy; pneumococcal antibody; vitamin D

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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