P646 Will the screening of SARS-COV-2 infection in IBD infusion centers be useful?

Abreu, N.(1);Oliveira, A.(1);Morna, H.(1);Jasmins, L.(1);

(1)Hospital Central do Funchal, Gastrenterology, Funchal, Portugal;


The global emergence of SARS-COV-2 virus and the COVID-19 pandemic increased the concerns about the vulnerability of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Infusion centers are a crucial part in the management of IBD patients and safety for SARS-COV-2 must be assured. Current recommendations of International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease suggest that only patients exhibiting symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should be tested for SARS-COV-2 before the biologic infusion therapy. We evaluated patients admitted at our infusion center, in which all had to be screened before treatment.


We conducted an observational study, including all adult patients with IBD under biologic therapy infusion between April of 2020 and September of 2021. According to the local institutional protocol all patients were tested for SARS-COV-2 by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the previous 48-72 hours. Epidemiological, clinical and treatment data were collected.


A total of 105 patients were evaluated, with a mean age of 38,6±12,8 years and a predominance of male gender (61,9%). Crohn’s disease was more prevalent, affecting 81,9% of  the patients. The most common biologic infusion therapy was  infliximab (93,3%), followed by vedolizumab (4,8%).

A SARS-COV-2 infection were identified in five patients (4,8%), with age between 41 and 66 years, four asymptomatic and without a known risk contact. Four patients developed the infection before vaccination and one patient after the first dose.  None of the patients required medical care or hospitalization.

All cases were registered in February of 2021, which temporarily represented one of the most critical phases of the pandemic in our country and region, with one of the highest incidence of cases of SARS-COV-2 infection.

In our cohort, most patients (85,7%) completed the vaccination schedule, with a minority (n=10) without any dose of vaccine.  


During this COVID-19 pandemic, health systems have to address unprecedented challenges.  Our study support the current recommendation, since the universal screening of SARS-COV-2 infection in IBD patients, before the biological infusion therapy, detected just a few cases of infection. However this recommendation could be adapted locally, maybe when there is raising incidence of SARS-COV-2 in the general population. Our cohort also showed high compliance for the vaccination as general recommendation and even after the infection.