Background There is evidence for a link between vitamin D deficiency and active tuberculosis (TB). In human beings, several trials have evaluated the role of vitamin D supplementation in TB treatment with conflicting results. However, the role of vitamin D supplementation in animal TB control has received less attention. The authors evaluated the beneﬁt of vitamin D supplementation for preventing mycobacterial infection or reducing TB lesions (TBL) in a controlled trial with goats naturally exposed to Mycobacterium caprae.
Methods Two groups of goats, a vitamin D-supplemented group and a non-supplemented control group, were housed for 10 months in direct contact with M caprae-infected adult goats. Upon contact with the infected adult goats, all animals were TB-tested every two months.
Results No experimental evidence of a protective effect of vitamin D supplementation based on M caprae culture prevalence, TBL prevalence, median TBL score or the proportion of single versus multiple organs presenting TBL was observed.
Conclusion The results indicate that, in the conditions used in this study, vitamin D supplementation in goats does not reduce TB infection risk nor the diffusion and severity of TBL. In addition, vitamin D-supplemented goats presented hyperphosphataemia and renal injury with calcifications suggestive of vitamin D intoxication.
- Capra hircus
- mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
- renal pathology
- tuberculosis lesion scores
- lesion scores
- vitamin D
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Funding This work was supported by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad of Spain (RTC-2016-4746-2) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria of Spain (RTA2015-00043-C02-02). AR is the recipient of an Industrial Doctorate contract (DI-15-08110) and JB holds a ‘Juan de la Cierva program’ contract (IJCI-2015-24805), both funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval This study was carried out according to European (Directive 2010/63/EU) and Spanish legislation (RD 53/2013) and was approved by the Ethics Committee (Complutense University of Madrid) and the Regional Agriculture Authority (Comunidad de Madrid; permit number: PROEX 143/15 (29/06/2015)). TB testing was performed according to Royal Decree 2611/1996 and European Commission Council Directive 64/432/EEC.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request.
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