P062 Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination outperform responses induced by natural infection in patients with IBD receiving immunosuppressive medications: a report from the ICARUS-IBD consortium.

González Cueto, E.(1)*;Matthew, E.(1);Wellens, J.(2,3);Martinez Pazos, V.(4);Thompson, C.(5);Klenerman, P.(1,3);Cadwell, K.(6);Colombel, J.F.(4);Satsangi, J.(3);Wong, S.Y.(4);

(1)Oxford University, Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research, Oxford, United Kingdom;(2)University Hospitals Leuven- KU Leuven, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leuven, Belgium;(3)Oxford University- Translational Gastro-­Intestinal Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford, United Kingdom;(4)Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, The Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology, New York, United States;(5)Warwick Medical School- University of Warwick, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Coventry, United Kingdom;(6)University of Pennsylvania-Perelman School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology- Department of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States; ICARUS-IBD consortium


The effects of immunosuppressive medications on immune responses to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have been reported. However there is little data on immune responses in naturally infected SARS-CoV-2 patients compared with vaccination. We compared in a longitudinal study SARS-CoV-2 antibody and T cell responses in naturally-infected vs. vaccinated IBD patients.


110 IBD patients enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai were prospectively followed with serial blood collection between May 2020, and February 2022. Samples were screened by ELISA to determine seropositivity, and stratified by infection, vaccination status, and IBD medications. Subsequently, ELISA-based inhibition assay and pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization assays were used to determine the inhibition and neutralization capacity of the seropositive individuals for wild type (WT) delta variant (Dv) and Omicron. Cellular responses were measured by IFN-γ ELIspot using nucleocapsid and spike peptide libraries.


Overall, 64 patients had Crohn's Disease and 46 had Ulcerative Colitis (UC), 69 were naturally infected. Only Anti-TNF (N=52), Ustekinumab (N=16), and Vedolizumab (VDZ) (N=33) treatment groups were considered. Only US-available vaccinations were included. Double-vaccinated IBD patients showed greater neutralizing responses to SARS-CoV-2 WT and Dv than naturally-infected individuals (p=0.0003, p=0.0025). Moreover, double-vaccinated individuals had greater neutralizing reactions against WT than DV (p 0.017) and Omicron (p 0.001) variants. Following natural infection, there were no differences between treatment groups in neutralization response, however those double-vaccinated on anti-TNF had lower neutralization than VDZ (p=0.008). Neutralization responses were maintained for a period of 8 months following natural infection and double vaccination. SARS-CoV-2 spike T cell responses were significantly higher in naturally infected (p=0.009) and double vaccinated individuals (p=0.005), with no significant differences between treatment groups (p<0.999).


After a second vaccine dose, IBD patients showed stronger neutralizing antibody titers than naturally infected patients. Those on anti-TNF exhibited lower neutralizing responses than VDZ. T-cell responses were similar in infected and double-vaccinated subjects after vaccination or infection. These data imply COVID-19 immunization provides additional serological protection over natural infection.