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Background and aimsFor infants exposed in utero to anti-tumour necrosis factor-α [TNF] medications, it is advised that live-attenuated vaccinations be postponed until the drug is cleared, but little is known about time to clearance. To minimize delays before live-attenuated vaccination can be given, we aimed to develop a pharmacokinetic model to predict time-to-clearance in infants exposed during pregnancy.MethodsWe prospectively followed in utero infliximab/adalimumab-exposed infants of mothers with inflammatory bowel disease across four countries between 2011 and 2018. Infants with a detectable anti-TNF umbilical-cord level and at least one other blood sample during the first year of life were included.ResultsOverall, 107 infants were enrolled, including 166 blood samples from 71 infliximab-exposed infants and 77 samples from 36 adalimumab-exposed infants. Anti-TNF was detectable in 23% [n = 25] of infants at 6 months. At 12 months, adalimumab was not detected but 4% [n = 3] had detectable infliximab. A Bayesian forecasting method was developed using a one-compartment pharmacokinetic model. Model validation showed that the predicted clearing time was in accordance with the measured observations. A clinician-friendly online calculator was developed for calculating full anti-TNF clearing time: one-quarter of infants born to mothers receiving anti-TNF during pregnancy have detectable anti-TNF at 6 months. To limit the time to live-attenuated vaccination in infants of mothers receiving anti-TNF during pregnancy, the results of a cord drug level at birth and a second sample ≥ 1 month thereafter can be used to estimate the time for full anti-TNF clearance in these children.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Crohn's & colitis

Publication Date





1835 - 1844


Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Kookaburra Circuit, Australia.


CARINA Study Group , Humans, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Vaccines, Attenuated, Vaccination, Bayes Theorem, Prospective Studies, Maternal Exposure, Pregnancy, Child, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Female, Adalimumab, Infliximab, Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors