Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 1532–1540 | Cite as

Lower Sustained Diphtheria and Pertussis Antibody Concentrations in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

  • Freddy CalderaEmail author
  • Sumona Saha
  • Arnold Wald
  • Christine A. Garmoe
  • Sue McCrone
  • Bryant Megna
  • Dana Ley
  • Mark Reichelderfer
  • Mary S. Hayney
Original Article



Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are often immunosuppressed, and those patients receiving anti-tumor necrosis factor α (TNF) therapy can have lower antibody responses to vaccines. Pertussis cases are at their highest levels in the post-vaccine era. There is little data regarding responses to the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine in IBD patients.


The aim of this study was to compare sustained vaccine-induced Tdap antibody concentrations in a cohort of IBD patients stratified by medication regimens with healthy controls (HC) who had received an adult Tdap booster.


We performed a cross-sectional study evaluating antibody responses to Tdap vaccine among IBD patients compared to HC. Our study consisted of three patient groups: adults with IBD stratified by maintenance medication regimen: (1) thiopurine monotherapy; (2) anti-TNF monotherapy; and (3) combination therapy (anti-TNF and immunomodulator (thiopurine or methotrexate)).


Ninety IBD patients and 20 HC participated. Pertussis pertactin antibody concentrations were significantly lower in IBD patients (p = 0.021) compared to HC, and those on anti-TNF agents (monotherapy or combination) had lower antibody concentrations compared to those on thiopurine monotherapy (p = 0.028). Diphtheria antibody concentrations were also lower in IBD patients (p < 0.001), and those on anti-TNF agents (monotherapy or combination) had lower antibody concentrations compared to the thiopurine monotherapy group (p < 0.001).


IBD patients on anti-TNF agents had lower antibody concentrations to diphtheria and pertussis. These findings suggest a need for different Tdap booster schedules for IBD patients on anti-TNF therapy.

Clinical Trials Registry NCT02434133.


Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis Immunization Inflammatory bowel disease 



The project described was supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, through the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Grant UL1TR000427. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.


This work was supported by the Sal Family Foundation, University of Wisconsin Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Drs. Caldera, Wald and Reichelderfer and Ms. McCrone, Ms. Garmoe, Mr. Megna, and Ms. Ley declare that they have no competing interests/financial disclosures. Dr. Hayney serves on the speakers’ bureau for Sanofi Pasteur Vaccines. Dr. Saha is a consultant with UCB Biosciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Freddy Caldera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sumona Saha
    • 1
  • Arnold Wald
    • 1
  • Christine A. Garmoe
    • 3
  • Sue McCrone
    • 3
  • Bryant Megna
    • 2
  • Dana Ley
    • 2
  • Mark Reichelderfer
    • 1
  • Mary S. Hayney
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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