Lead researcher: Michael D. Kappelman (University of North Carolina, United States)

Surveillance Epidemiology of Coronavirus Under Research Exclusion (SECURE-IBD) is an international, paediatric, and adult database used to monitor and report on how people with Crohn’s or Colitis have been affected if they have caught COVID-19. They encourage IBD teams worldwide to report all cases of COVID-19 in their Crohn’s or Colitis patients. Using this data, they are researching how things like age, comorbidities (other conditions), and treatments impact how severely someone with Crohn’s or Colitis is impacted by coronavirus.

Researchers will continue to collect data throughout 2021 and have learned a lot in a relatively short time. As of early December 2020, there were 3,561 COVID-19 cases in people with Crohn’s or Colitis reported in the SECURE-IBD project, with an increasing number of countries reporting more than 50 cases. The database has supported studies already, including gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19, the relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 and the impact of comorbid conditions.

Given the relatively small number of reported cases and preliminary nature of these reports, SECURE-IBD do not recommend the data be used to inform clinical decisions at this time. The database does not account for mild cases of coronavirus which did not undergo testing at the beginning of the pandemic. It also relies on doctors inputting the data, and so not everyone with Crohn's or Colitis who gets coronavirus will be included. Other key factors that change how the results are used is that the data is drawn from many different countries, some of which may use medicines in a different way to how we do in the UK. Finally, the data does not consider other health conditions and any medication for them.

If you would like to find out more, please visit the SECURE-IBD website.