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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4139656, 9 pages
Research Article

Serology of Viral Infections and Tuberculosis Screening in an IBD Population Referred to a Tertiary Centre of Southern Italy

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Unit for Chronic Bowel Disorders, IBD-Unit, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
2Infectious Diseases, Department of Human Pathology, University Hospital of Messina, Messina, Italy
3Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marco Ardesia

Received 2 May 2017; Revised 22 July 2017; Accepted 25 July 2017; Published 17 September 2017

Academic Editor: Cristiano Pagnini

Copyright © 2017 Marco Ardesia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. With the introduction of more potent immunosuppressive agents in inflammatory bowel disease, prevention of opportunistic infections has become necessary by introducing screening programs. Prevalence of the most important infectious agents may vary in different geographical areas. The aim of our study was to assess the immune status for hepatitis B, varicella, mononucleosis, and cytomegalovirus infection together with the determination of the hepatitis C and tuberculosis status in Southern Italy. Methods. Prevalence of latent tuberculosis, together with serology of hepatitis B and C, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella zoster, and cytomegalovirus were collected by analysing retrospectively the clinical charts of IBD patients. Data were integrated with demographic and clinical features. Results. Data from 509 IBD patients divided in two age groups showed a prevalence of HBV infection in nonvaccinated patients of 9%. Seroprotection (HBsAb) in vaccinated IBD patients was lower () compared with that in controls. Prevalences of herpesvirus infections fluctuate between 51% (CMV) and 85% (EBV) and 84% (VZV) in younger patients. Latent tuberculosis and hepatitis C infection were found only in patients > 37 years of age. Conclusions. In younger patients, high susceptibility rates for primary herpesvirus infections should determine the choice of treatment. Loss of HBV seroprotection in already vaccinated patients should be considered for booster vaccination programs.