The pleiotropic role of vitamin D has been explored over the past decades and there is compelling evidence for an epidemiological association between poor vitamin D status and a variety of diseases. While the potential anti-viral effect of vitamin D has recently been described, the underlying mechanisms by which vitamin D deficiency could contribute to viral disease development remain poorly understood. The possible interactions between viral infections and vitamin D appear to be more complex than previously thought. Recent findings indicate a complex interplay between viral infections and vitamin D, including the induction of anti-viral state, functional immunoregulatory features, interaction with cellular and viral factors, induction of autophagy and apoptosis, and genetic and epigenetic alterations. While crosstalk between vitamin D and intracellular signalling pathways may provide an essential modulatory effect on viral gene transcription, the immunomodulatory effect of vitamin D on viral infections appears to be transient. The interplay between viral infections and vitamin D remains an intriguing concept, and the global imprint that vitamin D can have on the immune signature in the context of viral infections is an area of growing interest.
Keywords: Vitamin D; immune response; viral infection.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.