Serological evidence for infection with Campylobacter jejuni/coli in patients with multifocal motor neuropathy

B V Taylor, B A Phillips, B R Speed, J Kaldor, W M Carroll, F L Mastaglia
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia 1998, 5 (1): 33-5
Campylobacter jejuni/coli (CJC) infection has been implicated in the immunopathogenesis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), and Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS). However, its role in chronic immune mediated neuropathies such as multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is less clear. Anti-ganglioside antibodies are associated with chronic motor neuropathies such as MMN and IgM anti-GM1, and IgM anti-asialo GM1 antibodies have been shown to cross-react with CJC lipopolysaccharides. Molecular mimicry between CJC and IgG anti-GM1 antibodies has also been suggested. Therefore we have performed a retrospective assessment of anti-CJC-specific IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies in a cohort of seven patients with clinical and electrophysiologically definite MMN. The control group consisted of 140 healthy blood donors with no history of enteric illnesses. We found elevated titres of anti-CJC-specific IgG in 5 of 7 patients, IgM in 3 of 7 and IgA in 1 of 7. At least 1 anti-CJC antibody was elevated in 6 of 7 patients, and 3 patients had elevations of both IgG and IgM antibodies. Three patients had significantly elevated titres of anti-ganglioside antibodies without a clear relationship to the anti-CJC titres. Therefore antibodies specific for CJC were found more frequently than expected in patients with MMN. Prior or ongoing infection with CJC may play a role in the actiopathogenesis of MMN.

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