Serum vitamin D levels are positively associated with varicella zoster immunity in chronic dialysis patients.
Uremia results in a relatively immunocompromised status, and patients under chronic dialysis have an elevated risk of developing herpes zoster (HZ). We sought to investigate the relationship between vitamin D status and immunity to varicella-zoster virus (VZV). A multicenter prevalent hemodialysis cohort was assembled between 2012 and 2013. We assayed the biochemical parameters, 25-hydroxy- (25-OH-D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D-binding protein levels in the sera. VZV immunity was quantitated using VZV-specific glycoprotein IgG and IgM titers. Eighty-eight patients were enrolled and their sera were analyzed. Chronic hemodialysis patients with 25-OH-D < 30 ng/ml (insufficiency or deficiency) had significantly lower VZV-IgG than those with sufficient 25-OH-D (p = 0.04). This discrepancy became more prominent if active vitamin D users alone were analyzed (p = 0.01). Generalized additive modeling showed that those with 25-OH-D higher than 27.8 ng/ml or bioavailable 25-OH-D higher than 3.88 ng/ml had significantly higher VZV-IgG levels than those with lower values. Linear regression suggested that both total and bioavailable 25-OH-D were significantly associated with higher VZV-IgG levels (p = 0.003 [total] and 0.01 [bioavailable]), whereas patients with cancer had lower VZV-IgG. Vitamin D may therefore be a potentially useful choice for raising VZV immunity in chronic dialysis patients.
Sci Rep. 2014 Dec 9;4:7371. doi: 10.1038/srep07371.