Antibody Responses in Vaccinated IBD Patients

November 11, 2021

A study conducted out of Cedars-Sinai found that patients with IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) produced strong antibodies following COVID-19 vaccination. Patients taking medications for other chronic inflammatory disorders have been observed to produce less antibodies depending on the medication they are taking to treat their autoimmune disease.

Researchers measured the antibody titers in patients with IBD who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Antibody titers were measured after the first and second doses, as well as three additional times after receiving the second dose. Of 582 participants, “proportions of participants receiving no immune suppression, anti-integrin therapy, anti–interleukin-12/23 therapy, immunomodulator monotherapy, anti–tumor necrosis factor monotherapy, Janus kinase inhibition, anti–tumor necrosis factor therapy combined with an immunomodulator, and systemic corticosteroids were 15.8%, 13.7%, 20.4%, 2.1%, 31.4%, 1.2%, 8.6%, and 6.0%, respectively.”

Overall, 854 antibody samples were collected; almost all IBD patients produced an antibody response to the mRNA vaccines. 49% of participants had positive antibody levels after the first dose, 92% had positive antibodies after the second dose, and 99% had positive antibodies week 2 after the second dose. After week 2, antibody levels decreased. Researchers also found that antibody responses after the second dose differed according to the immunosuppressant participants were taking. After eight weeks, patients on anti-TNF therapies or corticosteroids had lower antibody counts than patients on anti-tegrin or anti-IL 12/23 therapies. That being said, the initial response to vaccination parallels the antibody response of IBD patients not on immunosuppressive therapies. Researchers shared that those currently on anti-TNF therapies or corticosteroids may benefit from a third dose of the vaccine.