SARS-CoV2 Vaccine Immunogenicity in immunosuppressed IBD Patients

Study code

Lead researcher
Nick Powell

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
Imperial College London

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, COVID


SARS-CoV2 infection has caused a global health emergency and has killed 1 in a 1000 of the British population. Vaccination holds the key to protecting individuals and limiting viral transmission at a population level.

Despite the optimism generated by the phase III SARS-CoV2 vaccination studies, there are important knowledge gaps, particularly regarding some of the most vulnerable members of society.

None of the vaccines have been tested in patients taking immunosuppressive drugs. Not only are these patients at high risk of COVID-19 disease, but the immunosuppressive drugs that they take might compromise the ability of vaccines to stimulate protective immune responses. This important knowledge gap could have grave implications for millions of immunosuppressed patients across the globe, who would remain unprotected from SARS-CoV2 infection even after vaccination. 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprising Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect about 620,000 patients in the UK. IBD patients are typically maintained on long-term immunosuppressive drugs to control their disease. Unfortunately, some of these drugs hamper the development of protective immunity following vaccination, at least with currently used vaccines, such as the flu jab.

The purpose of this study is to determine whether different immunosuppressive drugs used to treat IBD reduce the ability of IBD patients to mount durable, protective immune responses after SARS-CoV2 vaccination.