Introduction: Vitamin D status may be an important determinant of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infection, progression to disease and treatment outcomes. Novel and potentially cost-effective therapies such as vitamin D supplementation are needed to stem the tide of TB and MDR-TB globally, particularly in India, a country that accounts for the largest fraction of the world's TB incidence and MDR-TB incidence, and where vitamin D deficiency is endemic. While vitamin D has shown some promise in the treatment of MDR-TB, its role in the context of MDR-TB infection and progression to disease is largely unknown.
Methods and analysis: Through a case-control study in Mumbai, India, we aim to examine associations between vitamin D status and active MDR-TB and to investigate vitamin D status and TB infection among controls. Cases are adult outpatient pulmonary patients with MDR-TB recruited from two public TB clinics. Controls are recruited from the cases' household contacts and from non-respiratory departments of the facilities where cases were recruited. Cases and controls are assessed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, nutrient intake, diet quality, anthropometry and other relevant clinical and sociodemographic parameters. Controls undergo additional clinical assessments to rule out active TB and laboratory assessments to determine presence of TB infection. Statistical analysis investigates associations between vitamin D status and active MDR-TB and between vitamin D status and TB infection among controls, accounting for potential confounding effects of diet, anthropometry and other covariates.
Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board; Foundation for Medical Research Institutional Research Ethics Committee and Health Ministry's Screening Committee of the Indian Council for Medical Research. Permission was granted by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, India, a collaborating partner on this research. Outcomes will be disseminated through publication and scientific presentation.
Trial registration number: NCT04342598.
Keywords: epidemiology; nutrition & dietetics; public health; tuberculosis.