Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and susceptibility towards severe Dengue fever: a prospective cross-sectional study of hospitalized Dengue fever patients from Lahore, Pakistan

Somia Iqtadar, Amjad Khan, Sami Ullah Mumtaz, Shona Livingstone, Muhammad Nabeel Akbar Chaudhry, Nauman Raza, Mehreen Zahra, Sajid Abaidullah

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Abstract

Dengue is a mosquito-borne flaviviral serious febrile illness, most common in the tropical and subtropical regions including Pakistan. Vitamin D is a strong immunomodulator affecting both the innate and adaptive immune responses and plays a pivotal role in pathogen-defense mechanisms. There has been considerable interest in the possible role of vitamin D in dengue viral (DENV) infection. In the present prospective cross-sectional study, we assessed a possible association between serum vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and susceptibility towards severe dengue fever (DF) illness. Serum vitamin D levels were measured at the time of hospitalization in 97 patients diagnosed with dengue fever (DF), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS) at Mayo Hospital, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, PK, from 16 November 2021 to 15 January 2022. In terms of disease severity, 37 (38.1%) patients were DF, 52 (53.6%) were DHF grade 1 and 2, and 8 (8.2%) were DSS. The results revealed that most patients (75 (77.3%)) were vitamin-D-deficient (i.e., serum level < 20 ng/mL), including 27 (73.0%) in DF, 41 (78.8%) in DHF grade 1 and 2, and 7 (87.5%) in DSS. The degree of VDD was somewhat higher in DSS patients as compared to DF and DHF grade 1 and 2 patients. Overall, serum vitamin D levels ranged from 4.2 to 109.7 ng/mL, and the median (IQR) was in the VDD range, i.e., 12.2 (9.1, 17.8) ng/mL. Our results suggest that there may be a possible association between VDD and susceptibility towards severe dengue illness. Hence, maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels in the body either through diet or supplementation may help provide adequate immune protection against severe dengue fever illness. Further research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages9
JournalTropical medicine and infectious disease
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • vitamin D deficiency
  • dengue fever
  • dengue hemorrhagic fever
  • dengue shock syndrome

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