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      Possible role of vitamin D in Covid-19 infection in pediatric population


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          Covid-19 is a pandemic of unprecedented proportion, whose understanding and management is still under way. In the emergency setting new or available therapies to contrast the spread of COVID-19 are urgently needed. Elderly males, especially those affected by previous diseases or with comorbidities, are more prone to develop interstitial pneumonia that can deteriorate evolving to ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) that require hospitalization in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Even children and young patients are not spared by SARS-CoV 2 infection, yet they seem to develop a milder form of disease. In this setting the immunomodulatory role of Vitamin D, should be further investigated. Methods: We reviewed the literature about the immunomodulatory role of Vitamin D collecting data from the databases Medline and Embase.


          Vitamin D proved to interact both with the innate immune system, by activating Toll-like receptors (TLRs) or increasing the levels of cathelicidins and β-defensins, and adaptive immune system, by reducing immunoglobulin secretion by plasma cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines production, thus modulating T cells function. Promising results have been extensively described as regards the supplementation of vitamin D in respiratory tract infections, autoimmune diseases and even pulmonary fibrosis.


          In this review, we suggest that vitamin D supplementation might play a role in the prevention and/or treatment to SARS-CoV-2 infection disease, by modulating the immune response to the virus both in the adult and pediatric population.

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          Most cited references49

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          Epidemiological Characteristics of 2143 Pediatric Patients With 2019 Coronavirus Disease in China

          To identify the epidemiological characteristics and transmission patterns of pediatric patients with the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China.
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            COVID-19 and Italy: what next?

            Summary The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already taken on pandemic proportions, affecting over 100 countries in a matter of weeks. A global response to prepare health systems worldwide is imperative. Although containment measures in China have reduced new cases by more than 90%, this reduction is not the case elsewhere, and Italy has been particularly affected. There is now grave concern regarding the Italian national health system's capacity to effectively respond to the needs of patients who are infected and require intensive care for SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. The percentage of patients in intensive care reported daily in Italy between March 1 and March 11, 2020, has consistently been between 9% and 11% of patients who are actively infected. The number of patients infected since Feb 21 in Italy closely follows an exponential trend. If this trend continues for 1 more week, there will be 30 000 infected patients. Intensive care units will then be at maximum capacity; up to 4000 hospital beds will be needed by mid-April, 2020. Our analysis might help political leaders and health authorities to allocate enough resources, including personnel, beds, and intensive care facilities, to manage the situation in the next few days and weeks. If the Italian outbreak follows a similar trend as in Hubei province, China, the number of newly infected patients could start to decrease within 3–4 days, departing from the exponential trend. However, this cannot currently be predicted because of differences between social distancing measures and the capacity to quickly build dedicated facilities in China.
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              An outbreak of severe Kawasaki-like disease at the Italian epicentre of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic: an observational cohort study

              Summary Background The Bergamo province, which is extensively affected by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, is a natural observatory of virus manifestations in the general population. In the past month we recorded an outbreak of Kawasaki disease; we aimed to evaluate incidence and features of patients with Kawasaki-like disease diagnosed during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Methods All patients diagnosed with a Kawasaki-like disease at our centre in the past 5 years were divided according to symptomatic presentation before (group 1) or after (group 2) the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Kawasaki- like presentations were managed as Kawasaki disease according to the American Heart Association indications. Kawasaki disease shock syndrome (KDSS) was defined by presence of circulatory dysfunction, and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) by the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation criteria. Current or previous infection was sought by reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs, and by serological qualitative test detecting SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG, respectively. Findings Group 1 comprised 19 patients (seven boys, 12 girls; aged 3·0 years [SD 2·5]) diagnosed between Jan 1, 2015, and Feb 17, 2020. Group 2 included ten patients (seven boys, three girls; aged 7·5 years [SD 3·5]) diagnosed between Feb 18 and April 20, 2020; eight of ten were positive for IgG or IgM, or both. The two groups differed in disease incidence (group 1 vs group 2, 0·3 vs ten per month), mean age (3·0 vs 7·5 years), cardiac involvement (two of 19 vs six of ten), KDSS (zero of 19 vs five of ten), MAS (zero of 19 vs five of ten), and need for adjunctive steroid treatment (three of 19 vs eight of ten; all p<0·01). Interpretation In the past month we found a 30-fold increased incidence of Kawasaki-like disease. Children diagnosed after the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic began showed evidence of immune response to the virus, were older, had a higher rate of cardiac involvement, and features of MAS. The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic was associated with high incidence of a severe form of Kawasaki disease. A similar outbreak of Kawasaki-like disease is expected in countries involved in the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Funding None.

                Author and article information

                J Endocrinol Invest
                J. Endocrinol. Invest
                Journal of Endocrinological Investigation
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                15 June 2020
                : 1-9
                [1 ]GRID grid.6530.0, ISNI 0000 0001 2300 0941, Pediatric Academic Department, University of Rome Tor Vergata, ; Rome, Italy
                [2 ]GRID grid.414125.7, ISNI 0000 0001 0727 6809, Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University-Hospital Pediatric Department (DPUO), , Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCSS, ; Rome, Italy
                [3 ]GRID grid.414125.7, ISNI 0000 0001 0727 6809, Endocrinology Unit, University-Hospital Pediatric Department (DPUO), , Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCSS, ; Rome, Italy
                © Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                Short Review

                covid19,sarscov2,vitamin d,pediatric,pneumonia,immunity
                covid19, sarscov2, vitamin d, pediatric, pneumonia, immunity


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