Improving immunization strategies in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Authors Maham Farshidpour, Aline Charabaty, Mark C. Mattar.


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are susceptible to varieties of opportunistic infections due to immunological changes in the setting of their disease and drug-induced immunosuppression. Even though numerous infections can be prevented by vaccine, vaccination in IBD patients is inadequate. Data showed only 9% were vaccinated against pneumococcal infection and 28% described commonly receiving influenza vaccine. This review article discusses the recent immunizations against influenza virus; pneumococcal infection; human
papilloma virus; tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; measles, mumps and rubella; varicella zoster; and herpes zoster for individuals diagnosed with IBD and those patients with drug-related immunosuppression. In addition, this review discusses concerns about IBD patients planning to travel abroad. Immunization status and screening for opportunistic infection need to be addressed in IBD patients at the time of diagnosis and they should be vaccinated accordingly. Generally, standard vaccination strategies should be pursued in IBD patients, although live vaccines should be avoided while they are not immunocompetent.

Keywords Inflammatory bowel disease, opportunistic infections, immunization

Ann Gastroenterol 2019; 32 (3): 247-256

Review Articles