Predicting Infection Risk in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with Ocrelizumab: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Nabil Seery, Sifat Sharmin, Vivien Li, Ai-Lan Nguyen, Claire Meaton, Roberts Atvars, Nicola Taylor, Kelsey Tunnell, John Carey, Mark P. Marriott, Katherine A. Buzzard, Izanne Roos, Chris Dwyer, Josephine Baker, Lisa Taylor, Kymble Spriggs, Trevor J. Kilpatrick, Tomas Kalincik, Mastura Monif

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ocrelizumab safety outcomes have been well evaluated in clinical trials and open-label extension (OLE) studies. However, risk factors for infection in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) receiving ocrelizumab have not been extensively studied in the real-world setting. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine factors determining risk of self-reported infections and antimicrobial use in patients receiving ocrelizumab for MS. Methods: A retrospective, observational cohort study was conducted in patients receiving ocrelizumab at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Infection type and number were reported by patients, and the associations of potential clinical and laboratory risk factors with self-reported infection and antimicrobial use were estimated using univariate and multivariable logistic regression models. Results: A total of 185 patients were included in the study; a total of 176 infections were reported in 89 patients (46.1%), and antimicrobial use was identified in 47 patients (25.3%). In univariate analyses, a higher serum IgA was associated with reduced odds of infection (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.25–0.76). In multivariable analyses, older age (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.88–0.99), higher serum IgA (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.17–0.80) and higher serum IgG (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.67–0.99) were associated with reduced odds of infection. Older age (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.75–0.96) and higher serum IgA (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.07–0.79) were associated with reduced odds of antimicrobial use, whilst longer MS disease duration (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.06–1.41) and higher Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.02–3.86) were associated with increased odds of antimicrobial use. Conclusions: Higher serum IgA and IgG and older age were associated with reduced odds of infection. Our findings highlight that infection risk is not uniform in patients with MS receiving ocrelizumab and substantiate the need to monitor immunoglobulin levels pre-treatment and whilst on therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907–918
Number of pages907
JournalCNS Drugs
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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