Background Randomised controlled trials of adjunctive vitamin D in pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) treatment have yielded conflicting results. Individual participant data meta-analysis could identify factors explaining this variation.
Methods We meta-analysed individual participant data from randomised controlled trials of vitamin D in patients receiving antimicrobial therapy for pulmonary TB. Primary outcome was time to sputum culture conversion. Secondary outcomes were time to sputum smear conversion, mean 8-week weight and incidence of adverse events. Pre-specified subgroup analyses were done according to baseline vitamin D status, age, sex, drug susceptibility, HIV status, extent of disease and vitamin D receptor genotype.
Results Individual participant data were obtained for 1850 participants in eight studies. Vitamin D did not influence time to sputum culture conversion overall (adjusted HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.91–1.23), but it did accelerate sputum culture conversion in participants with multidrug-resistant pulmonary TB (adjusted HR 13.44, 95% CI 2.96–60.90); no such effect was seen in those whose isolate was sensitive to rifampicin and/or isoniazid (adjusted HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.88–1.19; p-value for interaction=0.02). Vitamin D accelerated sputum smear conversion overall (adjusted HR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.31), but did not influence other secondary outcomes.
Conclusions Vitamin D did not influence time to sputum culture conversion overall, but it accelerated sputum culture conversion in patients with multidrug-resistant pulmonary TB.