Vitamin D and HTLV Infection: A Systematic Review

The Open Infectious Diseases Journal 31 July 2019 SYSTEMATIC REVIEW DOI: 10.2174/1874279301911010035



Vitamin D has been associated with the pathogenesis of infectious diseases.


To perform a systematic review on the association of vitamin D and outcomes of HTLV (Human T-cell lymphotropic virus) infection.


We searched PubMed, LILACs, Scielo, Embase and Cochrane Library for studies addressing vitamin D and HTLV infection. We included studies published in English since 1980. Studies associated with HIV, bone metabolism and not related to HTLV- associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) or adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) were excluded.


Twenty-three studies were selected and sixteen studies were included in the review (eight experimental studies, three case reports, three cases series, one cross-sectional study and one review). Fourteen studies were focused on ATL, and two on HAM/TSP. The available data show that in vitro exposure to 1,25(OH)2D inhibits proliferation of HTLV-infected lymphocytes in patients with ATL or HAM/TSP. It has been observed that hypercalcemia, the main cause of death in patients with ATL, is not associated with serum levels of 1,25(OH)2D or parathyroid hormone-related protein, but leukemia inhibitory factor/D factor seems to be an important factor for hypercalcemia pathogenesis. It was also demonstrated an association between the VDR ApaI gene polymorphism and a decreased risk of HAM/TSP in HTLV positive individuals.


Despite the small number and heterogeneity of the studies, this systematic review suggests that vitamin D play a role in the pathogenesis of HTLV-associated diseases.

Key words: 25(OH)D, Vitamin D, HTLV, Calcitriol, Adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia, antigen-presenting cells (APC).
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