Objective: Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is the leading cause of acute peripheral neuropathy worldwide, often associated with recent foodborne infection with Campylobacter jejuni. In this cross-sectional analysis of data from the Agricultural Health Study, we tested whether swine and poultry exposure were associated with increased prevalence of GBS-like neurologic symptoms.
Methods: Using multivariate analysis, we tested the symptoms such as numbness and weakness, relevant to inflammatory peripheral neuropathies, among farmers with self-reported occupational poultry or swine exposure compared with farmers who reported no occupational animal exposure.
Results: Among swine farmers/workers, prevalence of weakness and numbness were increased (P < 0.05). Among poultry farmers/workers, prevalence of weakness and numbness were increased, but increased prevalence of weakness was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Occupational contact with live poultry or swine, potentially related to C. jejuni exposure, was associated with increased reporting of GBS-like symptoms.