Association Between Helicobacter Pylori Infection and Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis

Eur J Clin Invest. 2020 May;50(5):e13218. doi: 10.1111/eci.13218. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Background: Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) is a Gram-negative bacterium, considered to trigger autoimmune gastrointestinal disorders. This pathogen has also been linked to the autoimmune sequelae in extra-gastrointestinal diseases and peripheral neuropathies. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a serious autoimmune demyelinating disorder of peripheral nerves, usually with a post-infectious onset. About 30% of cases of GBS attributed to by Campylobacter jejuni, so, H pylori, could be also involved. Growing evidence suggests the likely involvement of H pylori infection in the development of GBS. The aim of the current study was to therefore estimate the prevalence of H pylori antibodies in GBS.

Methods: A search of the literature was performed, using the PUBMED database, until December 2018. Data were extracted from six case-control studies, and a stratification analysis was conducted according to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or serum detection material.

Results: Among 29 records found, 6 studies met in the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. In the CSF subgroup, 105 participants were involved (40 GBS patients and 65 controls), while the serum subgroup included 325 participants (152 GBS and 173 controls). Data were combined using a fixed-effects model. Anti-H pylori IgG were significantly more prevalent in GBS patients compared to controls, in both CSF (95% CI: 9.66-186.56, OR: 42.45, Pz < .00001) and serum (95% CI: 1.30-4.11, OR: 2.31, Pz: .004) subgroups.

Conclusion: The present meta-analysis showed a strong association between GBS and the presence of H pylori antibodies, especially in CSF, thereby suggesting a role of H pylori infection in the pathophysiology of GBS.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Guillain-Barré Syndrome; anti- H pylori IgG; antibodies; seropositivity.