[Guillain-Barré syndrome after exposure to influenza]

Nervenarzt. 2012 Jun;83(6):714-30. doi: 10.1007/s00115-012-3479-8.
[Article in German]


Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an acquired, monophasic inflammatory polyradiculoneuritis of autoimmune origin, which occurs after infection and occasionally also after vaccination. Seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines have in particular been implicated as triggers for GBS. However, a number of recent studies indicate that infection with influenza virus may also cause GBS. This review summarizes the epidemiological and experimental data of the association of GBS with exposure to influenza antigens by immunization (including vaccines against A/H1N1/2009) and infection. Vaccination against influenza is associated with a very low risk for the occurrence of GBS. In contrast infection with influenza may play a more important role as a triggering factor for GBS than previously assumed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / genetics
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Influenza Vaccines