Background: Up to 60% of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients treated with infliximab develop antibodies to infliximab (ATI), which are associated with low drug levels and loss of response (LOR). Hence, mapping out predictors of immunogenicity toward infliximab is essential for tailoring patient-specific therapy. Jewish Sephardi ethnicity, in addition to monotherapy, has been previously identified as a potential risk factor for ATI formation and infliximab failure.
Objectives: To explore the association between Jewish sub-group ethnicity among patients with IBD and the risk of infliximab immunogenicity and therapy failure. To confirm findings of a previous cohort that addressed the same question.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study included all infliximab-treated patients of Jewish ethnicity with regular prospective measurements of infliximab trough levels and ATI. Drug and ATI levels were prospectively measured, clinical data was retrieved from medical charts.
Results: The study comprised 109 Jewish patients (54 Ashkenazi, 55 Sephardi) treated with infliximab. There was no statistically significant difference in proportion of ATI between Sephardi and Ashkenazi patients with IBD (32% Ashkenazi and 33% Sephardi patients developed ATI, odds ratio [OR] 0.944, P = 0.9). Of all variables explored, monotherapy and older age were the only factors associated with ATI formation (OR 0.336, 95% confidence interval 0.145–0.778, P = 0.01, median 34 vs. 28, interquartile range 28–48, 23–35 years, P = 0.02, respectively).
Conclusions: Contrary to previous findings, Sephardi Jewish ethnicity was not identified as a risk factor for ATI formation compared with Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity. Other risk factors remained unchanged.