PloS one 2018 02 0913(2) e0192479 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0192479
Influenza causes significant morbidity and mortality; the pandemic in 2009-2010 was a reminder of the potential for novel strains and antigenic changes. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with poor vaccine immunogenicity, therefore we sought to determine if there was a correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and influenza vaccine response.
A retrospective observational study was conducted among young, healthy military members to evaluate the association between total 25(OH)D levels with post influenza vaccination antibody titers and healthcare encounters during the 2009-10 influenza season. Univariate analyses were performed to evaluate whether 25(OH)D levels are associated with baseline characteristics and post-vaccination antibody responses. Multivariable logistic regression models were utilized to determine the associations between antibody responses and 25(OH)D levels adjusting for possible confounders.
A total of 437 subjects were studied. Most participants were young adults (91% were 18-39 years of age), 50% were male, and 56% resided in the southern U.S. Overall, 152 (34.8%) were vitamin D deficient, 167 (38.2%) insufficient, and 118 (27.0%) with normal 25(OH)D levels. There were no demographic differences by 25(OH)D category. Only 224 (51.3%) demonstrated a seroprotective anti-influenza post-vaccination titer, which did not vary by categorical 25(OH)D levels [vitamin D deficient vs. normal: OR 1.10 (0.68-1.78) and insufficient vs. normal: OR 1.25 (0.78-2.01)] or continuous vitamin D levels [OR 0.98 (0.84-1.15)]. There were also no associations with increased influenza like illnesses, respiratory diagnoses and healthcare encounters between the vitamin D groups.
Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were highly prevalent despite evaluating a young, healthy adult population. There were no significant associations between 25(OH)D levels and post-vaccination antibody titers to influenza vaccine. Further studies are required to discover strategies to improve vaccine efficacy as well as to determine the role of 25(OH)D in vaccine immunity.