Project summary:

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are usually treated with immunosuppressive drugs. By inhibiting the immune system, these drugs increase the risk of serious infections and prevent vaccines fully working. Because COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, SARS-CoV-2, we don’t yet know if these drugs increase the risk of infection, life-threatening illness or reduce immunity that usually follows infection or vaccination. As a precaution the UK Government advised patients taking these medicines to follow strict social distancing measures, known as shielding, during the 12-week lockdown. This study will investigate the impact of specific drugs and shielding on COVID-19 infection and subsequent immunity. The results of this study will help inform public health policy decisions for patients with IBD as well as millions of other UK patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Lead institution:

University of Exeter

Recruitment for clinical trial open: