Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin profile in patients with celiac disease living in a high incidence area

Luca Elli, Federica Facciotti, Vincenza Lombardo, Alice Scricciolo, David S Sanders, Valentina Vaira, Donatella Barisani, Maurizio Vecchi, Andrea Costantino, Lucia Scaramella, Bernardo dell'Osso, Luisa Doneda, Leda Roncoroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND AIM: How symptoms and antibodies related to SARS-CoV-2 infection develop in patients with celiac disease (CD) is unclear. We aimed to investigate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in CD patients.

METHODS: CD patients were interviewed about the development of COVID-19 symptoms, compliance with anti-virus measures and adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD). The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA (anti-RBD and N proteins) was compared to that in non-CD subjects. Expression of the duodenal ACE2 receptor was investigated. When available, data on duodenal histology, anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA (tTGA), comorbidities and GFD adherence were analyzed.

RESULTS: Of 362 CD patients, 42 (12%) reported COVID-19 symptoms and 21% of these symptomatic patients presented anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ig. Overall, 18% of CD patients showed anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ig versus 25% of controls (p = 0.18). CD patients had significantly lower levels of anti-N IgA. tTGA, duodenal atrophy, GFD adherence or other comorbidities did not influence symptoms and/or antibodies. The ACE2 receptor was detected in the non-atrophic duodenal mucosa of patients; atrophy was associated with lower expression of the ACE2 receptor.

CONCLUSION: CD patients have an anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ig profile similar to non-celiac controls, except for anti-N IgA. No risk factors were identified among CD parameters and GFD adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalDig. Liver Dis.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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