Adalimumab and infliximab impair SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses: results from a therapeutic drug monitoring study in 11422 biologic-treated patients
Griffiths, R. L.
Kok, K. B.
Lees, C. W.
Smith, P. J.
McDonald, T. J.
Irving, P. M.
Kennedy, N. A.
Goodhand, J. R.
JournalJournal of Crohn's and colitis
PublisherOxford University Press
Rights© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.
MetadataShow full item record
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Infliximab attenuates serological responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whether this is a class effect, or if anti-TNF level influences serological responses, remains unknown. METHODS: Seroprevalence and the magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibody responses were measured in surplus serum from 11422 (53.3% (6084) male; median age 36.8 years) patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, stored at six therapeutic drug monitoring laboratories between 29 th January and 30 th September 2020. Data were linked to nationally-held SARS-CoV-2 PCR results to 4 th May 2021. RESULTS: Rates of PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were similar across treatment groups. Seroprevalence rates were lower in infliximab- and adalimumab- than vedolizumab-treated patients (infliximab: 3.0% (178/5893), adalimumab: 3.0% (152/5074), vedolizumab: 6.7% (25/375), p = 0.003). The magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 reactivity was similar in infliximab- vs adalimumab-treated patients (median 4.30 cut-off index (COI) (1.94 - 9.96) vs 5.02 (2.18 - 18.70), p = 0.164), but higher in vedolizumab-treated patients (median 21.60 COI (4.39 - 68.10, p< 0.004). Compared to patients with detectable infliximab and adalimumab drug levels, patients with undetectable drug levels (<0.8 mg/L) were more likely to be seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. One-third of patients who had PCR testing prior to antibody testing failed to seroconvert, all were anti-TNF treated. Subsequent positive PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 was seen in 7.9% (12/152) patients after a median time of 183.5 days (129.8 - 235.3), without differences between drugs. CONCLUSION: Anti-TNF treatment is associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid seroprevalence and antibody reactivity when compared to vedolizumab-treated patients. Higher seropositivity rates in patients with undetectable anti-TNF levels supports a causal relationship, although confounding factors, such as combination therapy with immunomodulator, may have influenced the results.