The risk for celiac disease after Covid-19 infection.

Lexner J, Lindroth Y, Sjöberg K

BMC Gastroenterol 23 (1) 174 [2023-05-22; online 2023-05-22]

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease leading to gastrointestinal symptoms and mineral deficiencies. The pathogenetic mechanisms, besides the clear HLA association, are elusive. Among environmental factors infections have been proposed. Covid-19 infection results in a systemic inflammatory response that often also involves the gastrointestinal tract. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether Covid-19 infection could increase the risk for CD. All patients, both children and adults, in the county Skåne (1.4 million citizens) in southern Sweden with newly diagnosed biopsy- or serology-verified CD or a positive tissue transglutaminase antibody test (tTG-ab) during 2016-2021 were identified from registries at the Departments of Pathology and Immunology, respectively. Patients with a positive Covid-19 PCR or antigen test in 2020 and 2021 were identified from the Public Health Agency of Sweden. During the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020 - December 2021), there were 201 050 cases of Covid-19 and 568 patients with biopsy- or serology-verified CD or a first-time positive tTG-ab tests, of which 35 patients had been infected with Covid-19 before CD. The incidence of verified CD and tTG-ab positivity was lower in comparison to before the pandemic (May 2018 - February 2020; 22.5 vs. 25.5 cases per 100 000 person-years, respectively, incidence rate difference (IRD) -3.0, 95% CI -5.7 - -0.3, p = 0.028). The incidence of verified CD and tTG-ab positivity in patients with and without prior Covid-19 infection was 21.1 and 22.4 cases per 100 000 person-years, respectively (IRD - 1.3, 95% CI -8.5-5.9, p = 0.75). Our results indicate that Covid-19 is not a risk factor for CD development. While gastrointestinal infections seem to be an important part of the CD pathogenesis, respiratory infections probably are of less relevance.

Category: Serology

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37217874

DOI 10.1186/s12876-023-02795-3

Crossref 10.1186/s12876-023-02795-3

pmc: PMC10202072
pii: 10.1186/s12876-023-02795-3

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