Factors Affecting Initial Humoral Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Michael D. Kappelman*, Kimberly N. Weaver, Xian Zhang, Xiangfeng Dai, Runa Watkins, Jeremy Adler, Marla C. Dubinsky, Arthur Kastl, Athos Bousvaros, Jenifer A. Strople, Raymond K. Cross, Peter D.R. Higgins, Ryan C. Ungaro, Meenakshi Bewtra, Emanuelle A. Bellaguarda, Francis A. Farraye, Margie E. Boccieri, A. Firestine, Kelly Y. Chun, Manory FernandoMonique Bastidas, Michael Zikry, Millie D. Long

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION:Although an additional coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine dose for immunocompromised persons has been recommended in some countries, further data to guide vaccination strategies for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are urgently needed. We sought to identify factors affecting initial humoral immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines among patients with IBD.METHODS:In this prospective cohort of SARS-CoV-2 immunized patients with IBD, we evaluated associations between participant age, sex, vaccine type, medication use, and the presence of a detectable antireceptor binding domain antibody and quantitative antibody level.RESULTS:In total, 1,909 participants were included (1,123, 692, and 94 received BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and Ad26.COV2.S, respectively) of whom 96% achieved a positive antibody response. On multivariable analysis, factors associated with lack of antibody response were older age (P = 0.043), BNT162b2 vs mRNA-1273 (odds ratio [OR] 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-3.9), and combination therapy with anti-TNF and 6MP, azathioprine, or methotrexate (OR 4.2, 95% CI 2.4-7.3). The use of 5-aminosalicylate or sulfasalazine (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.8) and ustekinumab (OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.05-0.8) was associated with decreased odds of lacking antibody response.DISCUSSION:Most patients with IBD mount an initial response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination; however, older patients and those treated with anti-TNF and immunomodulator have blunted responses and may benefit the most from an additional vaccine dose. Patients treated with other classes of immunosuppressive medications have more robust initial immune responses to vaccination. These data should inform key decisions about patient selection for additional coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine doses in patients with IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-469
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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