FromWe found that with COVID-19 vaccination most of the main immunosuppressive treatments for IBD preserved the T-cell response, with one notable exception: anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug therapy. This biologic treatment actually elevated T-cell activity in the vaccinated patients. We think this may help protect them from severe disease after breakthrough infection," said Gil Melmed, MD, a principal study investigator and director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Research at Cedars-Sinai.
Biologics such as anti-TNF are medications that suppress inflammation, the body's protective response to injury and disease, which can make IBD worse when it becomes chronic. T-cells, a type of white blood cell, develop in the bone marrow and play a critical role in fighting off viruses.
"Augmentation of the T-cell response by anti-TNF therapy may partially explain the recently reported association of biologics with reduced hospitalizations or death from COVID-19. The T-cell immune response is important for reducing severity of disease after COVID infection," said Dalin Li, Ph.D., first author of the IBDstudy and an IBD research scientist at Cedars-Sinai.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination strengthened one type of immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients even though they were taking immunosuppressant medication, according to investigators at Cedars-Sinai.