Vitamin D deficiency and susceptibility to tuberculosis

Calcif Tissue Int. 2000 Jun;66(6):476-8. doi: 10.1007/s002230010095.


Vitamin D, a modulator of macrophage function, can activate human anti-mycobacterial activity. Vitamin D deficiency is therefore associated with a higher risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection, as indicated by several observations. First, TB tends to occur during the colder seasons when cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D from sun exposure is reduced and serum vitamin D levels are lower. Second, patients with untreated TB, particularly those from a temperate climate, have lower serum vitamin D levels than healthy subjects. Third, the incidence of TB is higher among subjects with relatively low serum vitamin D levels, such as the elderly, uremic patients, and Asian immigrants in the U.K.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Tuberculosis / blood
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / etiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*


  • Vitamin D