Study: Vaccine response in those with autoimmune disease

School of Medicine researchers are leading a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in people taking immunosuppressive drugs. Such drugs often are prescribed to treat autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. However, the drugs may blunt the body’s antibody response to vaccines.

“In this group of patients, our team will be evaluating the quantity and quality of the antibody response normally generated from COVID-19 vaccines,” said Alfred Kim, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, who is leading the trial. “These are important questions because many people with autoimmune diseases need these medications to stay in remission.”

Researchers will enroll up to 500 adults ages 18 and older in the St. Louis region. They are recruiting health-care workers at the School of Medicine and patients seen in Washington University outpatient clinics. Eligible patients who have preregistered for the COVID-19 vaccine will be contacted to assess their interest in being recruited into the study.

For information about participating in the trial, email covaripad@wustl.edu, or contact either Alia El-Qunni at 314-249-1151 or Lily McMorrow at 314-280-3894.