Adalimumab and Infliximab Impair SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses: Results from a Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Study in 11 422 Biologic-Treated Patients

Neil Chanchlani, Simeng Lin, Desmond Chee, Benjamin Hamilton, Rachel Nice, Zehra Arkir, Claire Bewshea, Bessie Cipriano, Lauranne A. A. P. Derikx, Allan Dunlop, Louise Greathead, Rachel L. Griffiths, Hajir Ibraheim, Peter Kelleher, Klaartje B. Kok, Charlie W. Lees, Jonathan MacDonald, Shaji Sebastian, Philip J. Smith, Timothy J. McDonaldPeter M. Irving, Nick Powell, Nicholas A. Kennedy, James R. Goodhand, Tariq Ahmad

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Infliximab attenuates serological responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whether this is a class effect, or if anti-tumour necrosis factor [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 11 422 (53.3% [6084] male; median age 36.8 years) patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, stored at six therapeutic drug monitoring laboratories between January 29 and September 30, 2020. Data were linked to nationally held SARS-CoV-2 PCR results to July 11, 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 treated with anti-TNF. Subsequent positive PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 was seen in 7.9% [12/152] of 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 support a causal relationship, although confounding factors, such as combination therapy with a immunomodulator, may have influenced the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crohn's & colitis
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date2 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • adalimumab
  • biologic
  • CLARITY
  • COVID-19
  • immunosuppression
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infliximab
  • vaccination
  • vedolizumab

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