Preceding infections and anti-ganglioside antibody profiles assessed by a dot immunoassay in 306 French Guillain-Barré syndrome patients

Christiane Caudie, Arnaud Quittard Pinon, Didier Taravel, Valérie Sivadon-Tardy, David Orlikowski, Flore Rozenberg, Tarek Sharshar, Jean Claude Raphaël, Jean Louis Gaillard
Journal of Neurology 2011, 258 (11): 1958-64
We describe by an in-house dot immunoassay, specific anti-ganglioside and sulfatide antibodies, by comparing the results from a large group of 134 infected French GBS patients and those from 172 noninfected French GBS and 142 control groups. A recent infection was identified in 134/306 (43.8%) GBS patients: Campylobacter jejuni (24.6%) was the most common agent, followed by cytomegalovirus (12.4%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (3.2%) and Epstein-Barr virus (1.3%). Anti-ganglioside antibodies were detected in 97/306 (31.7%) of total GBS patients, 82/134 (61.2%) of GBS patients with a recent identified infection and 15/172 (8.7%) of the patients without identified infection. According to the specificities and antibody classes, four specific IgG antibody profiles were individualised against the two major GM1 and GD1a gangliosides in motor axonal C. jejuni-associated GBS variants, against GQ1b and disialylated gangliosides in Miller Fisher syndrome and its variants. One specific IgM profile against GM2 was found in 16/38 (42%) of severe sensory demyelinating CMV-associated GBS and in 8/17 (47%) of subjects with recent CMV infection with no neurological disease. IgG or IgM antibodies to GM1 were found in 5/10 M. pneumoniae-infected patients. IgM antibodies to GM1 were observed in the control groups, 15% of the 74 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 19% of the 51 patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and 9% of the 21 healthy control subjects. The fine specificity of the four IgG antibody profiles and the IgM anti-GM2 profile is closely related to the nature of the preceding infections and the pattern of clinical features.

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