Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 15;59(4):493-500. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu349. Epub 2014 May 13.

Very low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are not associated with immunologic changes or clinical outcome in South African patients with HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis.

Author information

Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom Botswana-University of Pennsylvania Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Research Centre for Infection and Immunity, Division of Clinical Sciences, St George's University of London, United Kingdom.
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, United Kingdom.
Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.
Transplant and Oncology Infectious Diseases Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
National Institute for Communicable Diseases-Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections, National Health Laboratory Service and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.



Vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired immune responses and increased susceptibility to a number of intracellular pathogens in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is not known whether such an association exists with Cryptococcus neoformans.


Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) were measured in 150 patients with cryptococcal meningitis (CM) and 150 HIV-infected controls in Cape Town, South Africa, and associations between vitamin D deficiency and CM were examined. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and cryptococcal notifications were analyzed for evidence of reciprocal seasonality. Associations between 25(OH)D levels and disease severity, immune responses, and microbiological clearance were investigated in the patients with CM.


Vitamin D deficiency (plasma 25[OH]D ≤50 nmol/L) was present in 74% of patients. Vitamin D deficiency was not associated with CM (adjusted odds ratio, 0.93 [95% confidence interval, .6-1.6]; P = .796). Levels of 25(OH)D showed marked seasonality, but no reciprocal seasonality was seen in CM notifications. No significant associations were found between 25(OH)D levels and fungal burden or levels of tumor necrosis factor α, interferon γ, interleukin 6, soluble CD14, or neopterin in cerebrospinal fluid. Rates of fungal clearance did not vary according to vitamin D status.


Vitamin D deficiency does not predispose to the development of CM, or lead to impaired immune responses or microbiological clearance in HIV-infected patients with CM.


HIV; South Africa; cryptococcal meningitis; tuberculosis; vitamin D

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center