Serum Concentrations of Emerging Vitamin D Biomarkers and Detection of Prevalent High-Risk HPV Infection in Mid-adult Women

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Jul;29(7):1468-1474. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0126. Epub 2020 Apr 21.


Background: Vitamin D has potential immunomodulating benefits in infection. One prior population-based cross-sectional study showed a protective association between serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) detection. Additional biomarkers present at different stages along the vitamin D metabolic pathway may more completely characterize vitamin D status but have not yet been evaluated in relation to hrHPV infection.

Methods: Stored sera from women aged 30-50 years (N = 404) enrolled in an HPV natural history study from 2011-2012 were tested for 25(OH)D and 4 novel vitamin D biomarkers: 1,25(OH)2D, 24,24(OH)2D3, free vitamin D, and vitamin D-binding protein. Cross-sectional associations between vitamin D serum concentrations and cervicovaginal hrHPV detection were estimated using logistic regression.

Results: 25(OH)D serum concentrations were not associated with hrHPV. After adjusting for age, race, season, education, oral contraceptive use, smoking status, body mass index, and serum concentrations of calcium and phosphate, each 1 ng/mL increase in 24,25(OH)2D3 was nearly statistically significantly associated with higher likelihood of hrHPV detection [aOR = 1.22; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.97-1.52]. No significant associations were observed for other biomarkers.

Conclusions: 25(OH)D serum concentrations were unassociated with prevalent hrHPV. Higher levels of one novel biomarker, 24,25(OH)2D3, were positively associated with hrHPV, an unexpected finding.

Impact: Inconsistent with previous findings of a protective association between 25(OH)D and prevalent hrHPV infection, these results suggest serum concentrations of 4 vitamin D biomarkers are unassociated with detection of hrHPV in mid-adult women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin D