The effect of infliximab on antiviral antibody profiles in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Ilana Kaufman, Yolanda Braun Moscovici, Yair Abudi, Denit Sofer, Ella Mendelson, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman, Dan Caspi, Ori Elkayam

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The duration of humoral immunity in patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs is poorly defined. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of infliximab on the levels of antiviral antibodies against poliomyelitis, rubella and measles in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Fifty-two consecutive RA patients being treated with 3 mg/kg infliximab were prospectively studied. The antiviral antibody profiles for measles, rubella and three serotypes of poliomyelitis were tested on the day of the first infusion of infliximab and 6 months later. The study group comprised 36 women and 16 men (mean age 54 years, range 33-81) with a mean disease duration of 15 ± 9 years. Forty-two (81%) patients were being treated with methotrexate and 22 (42%) were receiving prednisone. All patients had baseline protective levels of antibodies against measles and the three strains of polio, while 48 (92%) patients had protective antibodies against rubella. No significant change in the levels of antiviral antibodies was observed after 6 months of treatment with infliximab: from 3.67 at baseline to 3.87 IU/ml for measles, 169.50-197.0 IU/ml for rubella. No change was noticed for the geometric mean concentrations of antibodies against strains of poliomyelitis: 366-478 IU/ml for the Mahoney polio strain, 906-845 IU/ml for the MEF strain and 175-196 IU/ml for the Sauket strain. Patients with longstanding RA conserve long-term immunity to common viruses despite the use of immunosuppressive drugs. Levels of antiviral antibodies against measles, rubella and polio remain stable under treatment with infliximab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-329
Number of pages5
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Infliximab
  • Measles
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rubella


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