Association between glycoconjugate antibodies and Campylobacter infection in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome

F. S. Walsh, M. Cronin, S. Koblar, P. Doherty, J. Winer, A. Leon, R. A C Hughes

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In a retrospective study we have analysed sera from a well-characterised Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) patient group for antibodies that react with gangliosides. Of 95 GBS patients and 85 control patients analysed, we found that 14 (15%) of GBS patients but only one control patient had antibodies that react with the gangliosides GM1 and/or GD1b but not GM2, GD1a and GT1b using a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This pattern of reactivity suggests binding to the carbohydrate structure Gal(β1-3)GalNAc which is shared between some glycolipids and glycoproteins. Similar antibodies have been found previously in a subpopulation of patients with lower motor neuron disease. In the present study, the predominant immunoglobulin class of these anti-glycoconjugate antibodies was IgG rather than IgM. A correlation was found between the presence of these antibodies and prognosus in terms of disability at 3 and 12 months after presentation. Patients with anti-glycoconjugate antibodies also had a higher incidence of previous Campylobacter infections than the rest of the patient group, although the significance of this remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Oct 1991


  • Antibody
  • Campylobacter
  • Ganglioside
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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