Karin Cerna, MD, Dana Duricova, MD, PhD, Martin Lukas, MD, Nadezda Machkova, MD, Veronika Hruba, MD, Katarina Mitrova, MD, Kristyna Kubickova, MD, Marta Kostrejova, MD, PhD, Vladimir Teplan, MD, PhD, Martin Vasatko, MD ... Show more
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, izab301, https://doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izab301

Abstract

Background

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on immune-modifying treatment could be at an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); thus, data on the efficacy and safety of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines are essential. We conducted a prospective study of IBD patients vaccinated with BNT162b2, CX-024414, and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccines. The aim was to evaluate the rate and magnitude of seroconversion, assess the effect of different immune-modifying treatment modalities on the magnitude of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels, and analyze the impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on the inflammatory biomarkers of IBD.

Methods

The study included 602 IBD patients and 168 immunocompetent health care workers serving as controls. Serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were measured by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay before the vaccination and 8 weeks after the vaccination.

Results

Of IBD patients, 82.2% were receiving biological treatment: most of them were treated with antitumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors (48.5%), and just under half of them were treated with concomitant thiopurines or methotrexate, followed by vedolizumab (18.6%) and ustekinumab (15.1%). Only 8.1% of patients were on 5-aminosalicylates, and a minority (2.2%) were treatment-free. The postvaccine seropositivity rate among IBD patients and controls was 97.8% vs 100%. Median anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels were lower among IBD recipients of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 compared with 2 other vaccines (P < .0001) and control ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 recipients (P=.01). No correlation was found between serum trough levels and anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG concentrations for any of the biological drugs used. The TNF-α inhibitors with concomitant immunosuppressive treatment but no other treatment modalities were associated with a lower postvaccination antibody response (P < .0001). When evaluating the laboratory activity of IBD by C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin levels, no significant differences were found before the vaccination and 8 weeks after its completion.

Conclusions

Our findings warrant particular attention to the anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination of IBD patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors with concomitant immunomodulators and show the priority of mRNA vaccines in this specific group of patients