Possible treatment and prophylaxis of

“Corona virus infection”

by a novel vitamin D-dimer: ImmunoD® 


Priv.- Doz. Dr. Ralf HERWIG – Austria

Dr. Necip Cem KINACI – Turkey


Strong evidence exists that vitamin D has a potential anti-microbial activity and its deficiency has deleterious effects on general well-being and longevity (1,2).


Vitamin D reduces the risk of infection through multiple mechanisms:

Vitamin D boosts innate immunity by modulating production of anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) and cytokine response.


B and T cell activation by vitamin D as well as boosting the activity of monocytes and macrophages also contribute to a potent systemic anti-microbial effect (1,3).


The direct invasion by pathogenic organisms may be minimized at sites, such as the respiratory tract (4), by enhancing clearance of invading organisms. A vitamin D replete state appears to benefit most infections, with the possible noteworthy exception of Leishmaniasis. Vitamin D constitutes an prophylactic option and possibly therapeutic product either by itself or as a synergistic agent to traditional anti-microbial agents (1).


The biologically most active form of vitamin (1,25-D) acts as an immune system modulator (5). Nearly all cells and tissues of the human body, including B and T lymphocytes (both resting and activated), monocytes (6) and dendritic cells (5) express the high-affinity nuclear receptor for 1,25-D, the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR). Vitamin D deficiency impairs significantly regulatory T-cells (7). Vitamin D exerts its immunomodulatory activity on both mononuclear and polynuclear cell lines through its effects on the VDR (8). Vitamin D is most potent in the activation of mononuclear cells, such as monocytes and macrophages (8,9)}. Circulating vitamin D levels have a direct influence on macrophages, increase their “oxidative burst” potential (maturation and production of cytokines, acid phosphatase and hydrogen peroxide) (10,11), and prevent excessive expression of inflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D also facilitates neutrophil motility and phagocytic function (12).


After the outbreaks of H1N1 influenza in 2009, Edlich et al. (13) strongly recommended that all health care workers and patients be tested and treated for vitamin D deficiency to prevent exacerbation of respiratory infections. Vitamin D also reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which may reduce the risk of cytokine storm in H1N1 infection (14).


Furthermore, Carlberg et al. defined a Vitamin D low responder Group, witch accounts to about 25% of all individuals throughout a population. This low responder group is higher vulnerable to infections than high responders {Carlberg and Haq, 2018, #50177}.


Unfortunately, urgent supplementation to achieve this prophylactic and therapeutic effect of Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D) is complicated due to its lipophilic structure.


We invented a water soluble transport form of Vitamin D by forming a dimer with a special genotype of recombinant dgVDBP (a vitamin D transport protein) called IL-42 (patent No: AT 521556 not published yet), that is available under the label ImmunoD®  from HG Pharma, Vienna, Austria as producer/supplier and Dim-Support, Sofia, Bulgaria as local distributor.


This form with an immediate impact on the Vitamin D level in serum has shown no side effects, even in high doses and neither as oral or iv.-application form, in animals (15) and humans (16,17).


Furthermore, investigations demonstrated a significant improvement in macrophage function (6) and preliminary data from clinical courses of infectious diseases like influenza, HIV and Borna virus infections.


Therefore, we strongly recommend the immediate exploration of possible positive effects on Corona virus infections with this “side effect free” newly developed substance.




  1. Youssef, D,A, Miller, C,W, El-Abbassi, A,M, Cutchins, D,C, Cutchins, C, Grant, W,B, and Peiris, A,N,:Antimicrobial implications of vitamin D.Dermatoendocrinol 2011;3:220-229 (22259647)
  2. Holick, M,F,:Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:362-371 (14985208)
  3. Jeffery, L,E, Wood, A,M, Qureshi, O,S, Hou, T,Z, Gardner, D, Briggs, Z, Kaur, S, Raza, K, and Sansom, D,M,:Availability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) to APCs controls the balance between regulatory and inflammatory T cell responses.J Immunol 2012;189:5155-5164 (23087405)
  4. Hasegawa, K, Stewart, C,J, Celedón, J,C, Mansbach, J,M, Tierney, C, and Camargo, C,A,:Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D, nasopharyngeal airway metabolome, and bronchiolitis severity.Allergy 2018;73:1135-1140 (29315663)
  5. Toubi, E, and Shoenfeld, Y,:The role of vitamin D in regulating immune responses.Isr Med Assoc J 2010;12:174-175 (20684184)
  6. Greilberger, J, and Herwig, R,:Vitamin D – Deglycosylated Vitamin D Binding Protein Dimer: Positive Synergistic Effects on Recognition, Activation, Phagocytosis and Oxidative Stress on Macrophages.Clin Lab 2020;66(32013346)
  7. Vijayendra Chary, A, Hemalatha, R, Seshacharyulu, M, Vasudeva Murali, M, Jayaprakash, D, and Dinesh Kumar, B,:Reprint of “Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women impairs regulatory T cell function”.J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2015;148:194-201 (25644204)
  8. Veldman, C,M, Cantorna, M,T, and DeLuca, H,F,:Expression of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) receptor in the immune system.Arch Biochem Biophys 2000;374:334-338 (10666315)
  9. Rockett, K,A, Brookes, R, Udalova, I, Vidal, V, Hill, A,V, and Kwiatkowski, D,:1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces nitric oxide synthase and suppresses growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a human macrophage-like cell line.Infect Immun 1998;66:5314-5321 (9784538)
  10. Cannell, J,J, Vieth, R, Umhau, J,C, Holick, M,F, Grant, W,B, Madronich, S, Garland, C,F, and Giovannucci, E,:Epidemic influenza and vitamin D.Epidemiol Infect 2006;134:1129-1140 (16959053)
  11. Cannell, J,J, Zasloff, M, Garland, C,F, Scragg, R, and Giovannucci, E,:On the epidemiology of influenza.Virol J 2008;5:29 (18298852)
  12. Lorente, F, Fontan, G, Jara, P, Casas, C, Garcia-Rodriguez, M,C, and Ojeda, J,A,:Defective neutrophil motility in hypovitaminosis D rickets.Acta Paediatr Scand 1976;65:695-699 (187003)
  13. Edlich, R,F, Mason, S,S, Dahlstrom, J,J, Swainston, E, Long, W,B, and Gubler, K,:Pandemic preparedness for swine flu influenza in the United States.J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 2009;28:261-264 (20102323)
  14. Grant, W,B, and Giovannucci, E,:The possible roles of solar ultraviolet-B radiation and vitamin D in reducing case-fatality rates from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in the United States.Dermatoendocrinol 2009;1:215-219 (20592793)
  15. Greilberger, J, Greilberger, M, Petek, T, Philipp, S, Bettina, L, Reichl, H, Kamel, A, and Herwig, R,:Effective Increase of Serum Vitamin D3 by IV Application of a Cholecalciferol-N-Acetyl-Galactosamine-Stabilized Dimer: a Clinical Murine Trial Study.Clin Lab 2019;65(31115209)
  16. Greilberger, J, Greilberger, M, and Herwig, R,:Measurement of oxidative stress parameters, vitamin D and vitamin D binding protein during vitamin D treatment in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Integr Mol Med 2017;4:1-5
  17. Greilberger, J, Greilberger, M, and Herwig, R,:Positive Effect on Behaviour of Autistic Children by Supplementation of New Complexed Cholecalciferol is Combined With Reduction of Lipid Peroxidation: A Pilot Study.Curr Trends Biomedical Eng & Biosci 2018;14:555893
  18. Heikkinen S, Väisänen S, Pehkonen P, Seuter S, Benes V, Carlberg C Nuclear hormone 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 elicits a genome-wide shift in the locations of VDR chromatin occupancy. (2011) Nucl Acids Res 39, 9181-9193
  19. Carlberg C, Seuter S, de Mello VDF, Schwab U, Voutilainen S, Pulkki K, Nurmi T, Virtanen J, Tuomainen TP, Uusitupa M Primary vitamin D target genes allow a categorization of possible benefits of vitamin D3 (2013) PLoS ONE 8, e71042
  20. Ryynänen J, Carlberg C Primary 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 response of the interleukin 8 gene cluster in human monocyte- and macrophage-like cells. (2013) PLoS ONE 8, e78170
  21. Tuoresmäki P, Väisänen S, Neme A, Heikkinen S, Carlberg C Patterns of genome-wide VDR locations. (2014) PLoS ONE 9, e96105
  22. Seuter S, Ryynänen J, Carlberg C The ASAP2 gene is a primary target of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in human monocytes and macrophages. (2014) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 144, 12-18
  23. Saksa N, Neme A, Ryynänen J, Uusitupa M, de Mello VDF, Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Virtanen JK, Tuomainen TP, Carlberg C Dissecting high from low responders in a vitamin D3 intervention study. (2015) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 148, 275–282
  24. Seuter S, Neme A, Carlberg C Epigenome-wide effects of vitamin D and their impact on the transcriptome of human monocytes involve CTCF. (2016) Nucl Acids Res 44, 4090-4104
  25. Singh P, van den Berg P, Long M, Vreugdenhil A, Grieshober L, Ochs-Balcom H, Wang J, Delcambre S, Heikkinen S, Carlberg C, Campbell MJ, Sucheston-Campbell L Integration of VDR genome wide binding and GWAS genetic variation data reveals co-occurrence of VDR and NF-B binding that is linked to immune phenotypes. (2017) BMC Genomics 18, 132
  26. Seuter S, Virtanen JK, Nurmi T, Pihlajamäki J, Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Tuomainen TP, Neme A, Carlberg C Molecular evaluation of vitamin D responsiveness of healthy young adults. (2017) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 174, 314-321
  27. Neme A, Seuter S, Malinen M, Nurmi T, Tuomainen TP, Virtanen JK, Carlberg C. In vivo transcriptome changes of human white blood cells in response to vitamin D. (2019) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 188, 71-76
  28. Carlberg C, Campbell MJ Vitamin D receptor signaling mechanisms: integrated actions of a well-defined transcription factor (2013) Steroids 78, 127-136
  29. Carlberg C Genome-wide (over)view on the actions of vitamin D. (2014) Front Physiol 5, 167
  30. Neme A, Nurminen V, Seuter S, Carlberg C The vitamin D-dependent transcriptome of human monocytes. (2016) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 164, 180-187
  31. Carlberg C Molecular endocrinology of vitamin D on the epigenome level. (2017) Mol Cell Endocrinol 453, 14-21
  32. Carlberg C, Haq A The concept of the vitamin D response index. (2018) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 175, 12-17
  33. Carlberg C Vitamin D genomics: from in vitro to in vivo. (2018) Front Endocrinol 9, 250
  34. Nurminen V, Seuter S, Carlberg C Primary vitamin D target genes of human monocytes. (2019) Front Physiol 10, 194
  35. Carlberg C Nutrigenomics of vitamin D. (2019) Nutrients 11, 676
  36. Carlberg C Vitamin D signaling in the context of innate immunity: focus on human monocytes. (2019) Front Immunol 10, 2211