[Prevalence and characteristics of Guillain-Barré syndromes associated with Campylobacter jejuni and cytomegalovirus in greater Paris]

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2005 Oct-Nov;53(8-9):536-8. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2005.06.006. Epub 2005 Aug 3.
[Article in French]


Aim of the study: We aimed to study prevalence and features of Campylobacter jejuni and cytomegalovirus (CMV)-associated Guillain-Barré syndromes (GBS) in a French care unit.

Patients and methods: We studied 264 patients with GBS admitted at Raymond Poincaré hospital (Garches) between 1996 and 2001. Clinical data were obtained prospectively. Sera were collected at patients entry and tested retrospectively for anti-C. jejuni, anti-CMV and antigangliosides GM1 et GM2 antibodies.

Results: GBS associated with a serological evidence for a recent C. jejuni infection were the more frequent (58/264, 22%); they affected predominantly men of mature years (mean age: 51.3 years; sex-ratio M/F: 1.76), mostly after a gastrointestinal illness (52%); they were often pure motor forms (57%), were severe (mechanical ventilation: 40%) and associated to an anti-GM1 IgG and/or IgM response (44%). GBS cases involving a primary CMV infection were less frequent (40/264, 15%), but were severe too (mechanical ventilation: 37.5%); they occurred preferentially in young women (mean age: 35.9 years; sex-ratio MF: 0.82), often after respiratory tract symptoms (28%) or an influenza-like syndrome (15%) and were frequently associated with sensory loss (73%) and with an anti-GM2 IgM response (47%).

Conclusion: C. jejuni and CMV proved to be major triggering agents of GBS in France. They are associated with distinct presentations, which are both severe.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus*
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / blood
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / microbiology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paris / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors