© The Author(s) 2017. The relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of suffering from a plethora of health disorders, ranging from autoimmune processes to infectious diseases has been widely described. Nonetheless, the potential role of vitamin D in visceral leishmaniasis remains uncharacterized. In the Mediterranean basin, where the dog is leishmania's main peri-domestic reservoir, control measures against the canine disease have shown beneficial effects on the incidence of human leishmaniasis. In this study, we measured the vitamin D levels in serum samples from a cohort of 68 healthy and disease dogs from a highly endemic area and we have also studied the relationship of these levels with parasitological and immunological parameters. The sick dogs presented significantly lower (P < 0.001) vitamin D levels (19.6 ng/mL) than their non-infected (31.8 ng/mL) and the asymptomatic counterparts (29.6 ng/mL). In addition, vitamin D deficiency correlated with several parameters linked to leishmaniasis progression. However, there was no correlation between vitamin D levels and the Leishmania-specific cellular immune response. Moreover, both the leishmanin skin test and the IFN-γ levels displayed negative correlations with serological, parasitological and clinical signs. Further studies to determine the functional role of vitamin D on the progression and control of canine leishmaniasis are needed.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2017|