The risk for opportunistic infections in inflammatory bowel disease with biologics: an update

Zachary A. Borman, Justin Côté-Daigneault, Jean Frédéric Colombel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Introduction: Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), chronic diseases treated with medical and surgical therapy. Patients with IBD are treated with potent immunomodulatory agents, leading to immunosuppression, and the potential for opportunistic infections. In 2014, the ECCO guidelines were released to guide the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of these opportunistic infections. Since 2014, there have been a number of new agents released as well as a significant expansion in our knowledge of the safety profile of IBD medications. In this article, we review the literature after 2014 regarding opportunistic infections and updates on safety data. Areas covered: We review updates in immunomodulatory therapies for IBD and opportunistic infections since the 2014 ECCO guidelines were published. Expert commentary: The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of opportunistic infections continue to evolve, as new drugs are approved, and the use of a combination of biologic agents are considered for therapy in clinical trials. What causes some patients to fail to respond to vaccination, or for others to develop severe infections, remains unclear. Improved risk stratification for opportunistic infections in IBD patients and updated ECCO 2014 guidelines would be of significant benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1108
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adalimumab
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Tofacitinib
  • Ustekinumab
  • Vedolizumab
  • biosimilar
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infliximab
  • opportunistic infection
  • ulcerative colitis


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