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J Neurol Sci. 1997 Dec 9;153(1):91-9.

Characterization of Campylobacter jejuni isolates from patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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Department of Neurology and Clinical Research Centre, Utano National Hospital, Kyoto, Japan.


Campylobacter jejuni is a major pathogen preceding Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and most C. jejuni isolates from GBS patients belong to Penner serotype 19 (heat-stable; HS-19). We analyzed sixteen independent clinical isolates from GBS patients, twelve of which belonged to HS-19, three to HS-2, and one to HS-4, using PCR-based RFLP analysis of a flagellin-A (flaA) gene. Two isolates from patients with Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS), and 27 from patients with uncomplicated enteritis were also examined. All HS-19 isolates, regardless of GBS, showed an identical pattern (Cj-1) by RFLP typing and were distinguishable from those of the other Penner serogroups. In contrast, HS-2 and HS-4 isolates were divided into several different RFLP groups, suggesting HS-19 strains are genetically distinctive among C. jejuni isolates. A DNA fingerprinting method also failed to detect any specific band pattern for GBS-related C. jejuni isolates. We examined relationships among anti-GM1 antibody titres in the sera of GBS patients, clinical forms of GBS, serotype of C. jejuni, and the presence of GM1-like structures in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) components from C. jejuni isolates by immunoblotting. HS-19 related GBS was significantly associated with elevated anti-GM1 antibody titers in the sera of the patients, but not associated with any clinical pattern of GBS. No significant correlations were found between anti-GM1 antibody and the pattern of disease, or between GBS-related C. jejuni strains and the presence of GM1-like structures. HS-19 strains seem to be unique among C. jejuni isolates, and HS-19-related GBS may provide an excellent model for clarification of the pathogenesis of GBS.

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