Research Article

Guillain-Barré syndrome and Campylobacter jejuni: a serological study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 23 June 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1867
  1. J Kaldor,
  2. B R Speed


    The association between Campylobacter jejuni infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome was investigated serologically in a retrospective study of 56 patients admitted to this hospital over four years. Evidence of preceding C jejuni infection was found in 21 (38%) of these patients, indicating that C jejuni was the most common single identifiable pathogen precipitating the disease. Among those patients who had presented with preceding diarrhoea the serum antibody response was similar to that in uncomplicated C jejuni enteritis. Patients with serological evidence of preceding C jejuni infection manifested a significantly more severe form of the disease. In cerebrospinal fluid the predominant specific antibody class was IgG, and this was closely related to the serum titres of specific IgG. IgA and IgM specific antibodies were found only in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with recent C jejuni infection. These findings support the possibility that humoral immune factors are responsible for the neural damage and demyelination seen in Guillain-Barré syndrome.