Antibodies to gangliosides and galactocerebroside in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome with preceding Campylobacter jejuni and other identified infections

Q Hao, T Saida, S Kuroki, M Nishimura, M Nukina, H Obayashi, K Saida
Journal of Neuroimmunology 1998, 81 (1-2): 116-26
The relationship between preceding infections and antibodies to glycolipids was investigated in 205 Japanese patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Serological evidence of recent Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infection was found in 45% of the patients, compared with 1% in healthy controls. In contrast, recent infection of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected in only 5%, 2% and none of the patients, respectively. C. jejuni-associated GBS was more frequent in early spring than in other seasons. All stool specimens positive for C. jejuni isolation were obtained within 10 days after the onset of GBS symptoms. Of 13 C. jejuni isolates from GBS patients, 10 (77%) belonged to Penner serotype 19 (heat-stable, HS-19). Elevated titers of anti-GM1 antibody were found in 8 (80%) of 10 GBS patients whose C. jejuni isolates belonged to HS-19 and in none of those infected with non-HS-19 C. jejuni (P = 0.04), and in 49% of 92 patients with C. jejuni infection and 25% of patients without infection of C. jejuni, CMV, EBV, or M. pneumoniae (P = 0.0007). The frequencies of elevated antibody titers to GD1a, GD1b and GQ1b were also significantly higher in GBS patients associated with C. jejuni than those not associated with C. jejuni, CMV, EBV, and M. pneumoniae. GBS in Japan seems to be associated more frequently with C. jejuni and less frequently with CMV than in Europe and North America.

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