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Vitamin D in malaria: more hypotheses than clues

  • Autori: Bivona, Giulia; Agnello, Luisa; Lo Sasso, Bruna; Scazzone, Concetta; Butera, Daniela; Gambino, Caterina Maria; Iacolino, Giorgia; Bellia, Chiara; Ciaccio, Marcello
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Biochemistry; Immunology; Infectious disease;
  • OA Link:


Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone regulating calcium and phosphate metabolism, immune response and brain development. Low blood 25(OH)D levels have been reported in patients affected by infectious diseases caused by parasites, including malaria. Despite the high effectiveness of antimalarials, malaria is burdened with high morbidity and mortality, and the search for additional therapies is rapidly growing. Furthermore, available preventive measures have proved to be barely effective so far. Finding new prevention and therapy tools is a matter of urgency. Studies on animal models and humans have hypothesized some mechanisms by which the hormone can influence malaria pathogenesis, and the role of Vitamin D supplementation in preventing and treating this disease has been suggested. Few studies on the association between Vitamin D and malaria are available and disagreeing results have been reported. Studies in humans reporting an association between low 25(OH)D circulating levels and Malaria have a small sample size and observational study-set. Randomized controlled trials are needed in order to understand if Vitamin D administration might play a role in preventing and treating malaria.