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Association of Japanese encephalitis virus infection with Guillain-Barré syndrome in endemic areas of south India.

This study is a report of 34 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) observed in Bangalore (South India), an endemic area for Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection. Virological and immunological findings suggested an antecedent and recent JEV infection in 21/34 patients. Nineteen patients among them showed high levels of JEV-specific IgM antibodies in serum and/or CSF, while the viral antigen could be demonstrated in one case and virus isolation from the CSF was successful in one patient. EMG studies revealed features of predominantly demyelinating neuropathy in 18/25 cases. Comparison of clinical findings, duration of illness and outcome in GBS patients with evidence of JEV infection and those without did not reveal any differences. Pathological findings in one patient corroborated the association of JEV with GBS. We conclude that, JEV infection may predispose to Guillain-Barré syndrome in endemic areas.

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